The Queen has praised the Ministry of Defence for finding the remains of her uncle, Captain Fergus Bowes-Lyon, who was killed at the Battle of Loos.
Yesterday, visiting the MoD’s Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, Her Majesty spoke of the work still underway to find and identify the remains of her uncle.
The Queen Mother’s older brother, Fergus, died fighting as a commander with the Black Watch in 1915. He lost a leg in artillery fire before being shot in the chest and shoulder.
Prince Charles and Camilla commemorated the centenary of the Battle of the Loos last month in Dundee.
Fergus died an hour later awaiting medial help, though his body was never recovered. He was 26-years-old.
It has been said this loss put strain on the Bowes-Lyon family.
Attributed to an increased interest in genealogy and ancestry, the MoD have continued to excavate the area, as well as some of the most famous battle sites of the First World War, to give final resting places to those lost in WWI.
Her Majesty spoke of the MoD’s continued work yesterday, whilst in Gloucestershire.
“Well yes, I think some of their work led to the discovery of where my mother’s brother fell.”
The Queen was informed that her uncle’s remains had been found in a mass grave recently, after the Captain’s grandson, James Voicey-Cecil, Prince Charles, and historian Christopher Bailey helped trace where he was buried in a mass grave in a quarry.
Mr Bailey wrote to The Prince of Wales, informing him of his research and evidence that credited Jean-Luc Gloriant with knowledge of Fergus’ end, at the Quarry Cemetery at Vermelles.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission agreed to erect a headstone carrying his name and the words “Buried near this spot” based on this evidence.
A team of two has since become a seven-strong team in the last year, tracing those lost in The Great War, as well WWII; they currently have a backlog of 60 cases.