6th Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers (British Army)
Date Of Birth:
25/09/1915 (Killed in Action)
Lieutenant Andrew John, Viscount Stuart, 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers was killed in action in France on 25th September 1915. He was thirty-four years of age and unmarried. He was the eldest son of the 6th Earl Castle Stewart (late of Madras Civil Service) who succeeded to the title in 1914 and Emma Georgiana, Countess Castle Stewart, the youngest daughter of General Arthur Stevens, an Indian mutiny veteran.
Andrew John Stuart was the eldest son of the 6th Earl of Castle Stewart and Emma Georgiana, Countess Castle Stewart.
Georgiana was the youngest daughter of General Arthur Stevens, an Indian mutiny veteran.
Andrew John Stuart was born in Wimbledon on 27th December 1880. Because he was the eldest son, he became Viscount Stuart, heir of Earl Castle Stewart, of Stuart Hall, Stewartstown, County Tyrone.
Viscount Stuart was educated at Shrewsbury and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, with intentions of entering the Indian Civil Service.
His chief pastime was rowing, for which he was awarded prizes at school and he rowed in the College boat at Oxford.
On failing to pass the necessary exams, he turned to literary and scholastic work. He also travelled a great deal on the continent, in Egypt and the Holy Land.
Andrew became private secretary to Mr Christopher Turnor, of Stoke Rockford in Lincolnshire. Christopher Hatton Turnor was an author, architect and social reformer. He designed the Watts Gallery in Surrey and the Stoneham War Shrine in Hampshire. Turnor initially trained as an architect. Turnor became a campaigner for agricultural reform. He co-founded the Central Landowners' Association.
Andrew was the author of some verses entitled ‘Sailor, what of the debt we owe you?’, which appeared in the Times on 16th September, 1914:-
"Sailor, what of the debt we owe you
Day or night is the peril more?
Why so dull that he fails to know you
Sleepless guard of our island shore?
Safe the corn to the farmyard taken
Grain ships safe upon all the seas
Homes in peace and faith unshaken
Sailor, what do we owe for these?
Safe the clerk at his desk; the trader
Counts unruined his honest gain
Safe, though yonder the curs’t invader
Pours red death over hill and plain
Sailor, what of the debt we owe you?
Now is the hour at last to pay
Now is the stricken field to show you
What is the spirit you guard today?"
Andrew volunteered for active service and obtained a commission with the Royal Scots in May 1915 and proceeded to France.
Lieutenant Andrew John Stuart was serving with the 6th Battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers when he was killed in action in France on 25th September 1915.
Lieutenant Stuart was taking part in an advance when the German’s counter attacked. He was shot in either the heart or more likely the lung, and died almost immediately.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 8th October 1915: Lieutenant A J Viscount Stewart
Lieutenant Andrew John, Viscount Stewart, 6th (Service) Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, killed in action on the western front between 25th and 27th September, was the eldest son and heir of Earl Castle Stewart, of Stuart Hall, Stewartstown, County Tyrone. Born in 1880, he was educated at Shrewsbury and Oxford, and joined the army on the outbreak of war. His second brother, Captain the Honourable Robert Sheffield Stuart, 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, has been missing for many months. The Castlestewart peerage is an Irish one, but the family is of Scottish descent, deriving from Andrew Stuart, Lord Avondale (Chancellor of Scotland to James II), a grandson of Murdoch, whom James I executed. The third Lord Avondale fell at Flodden in 1513, and his successor exchanged his title for that of Lord Ochiltrie, who was a Lord of the Bedchamber to James I, sold his title to his cousin, Sir James Stuart, who was himself created Lord Stewart, Baron of Castlestewart, in 1619, receiving from the King considerable estates in Tyrone and a grant of what is now Stuart Hall, near Stewartstown where the family have been located since. His descendent received the Castlestewart earldom in 1800, and the present Earl is the sixth in the line. There are many connections of the family in Ulster. The late Earl’s wife was the youngest daughter of the late Major Richardson-Brady, Drum Manor, County Tyrone, and Lady Muriel Albany, his eldest daughter, is married to Major Maxwell A Close, D.L., Drumbanagher, Newry. The families of Cole-Hamilton, Lenox-Conyngham (Springhill), and Smyth (Ardmore) are connected by marriage with the Stuarts.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 11th October 1915: The Late Viscount Stewart
Viscount Stewart, eldest son and heir of the Earl and Countess of Castle Stewart, Stuart Hall, Stewartstown, County Tyrone, whose death in action has already been recorded in this newspaper, was the author of some verses entitled ‘Sailor, what of the debt we owe you?’, which appeared in the Times on 16th September, 1914. In commenting upon them, a writer in the Spectator remarked upon the fine spirit expressed in them and that fine spirit expressed in his verses found full expression in their author’s life. We reprint Lord Stuart’s verses:- (see above)
The late Viscount Stewart was born in Wimbledon on 27th December 1880, and was educated at Shrewsbury and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, for the Indian Civil Service. Failing to pass, he turned to literary and scholastic work, interesting himself greatly in later years in some of the great questions of the day – notably education and agriculture. He was private secretary to Mr Christopher Turner, of Stoke Rochford. Soon after the war broke out he applied for a commission, and was appointed to the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers. In May last he proceeded to France, where between 25th and 27th September he was killed in action.
The search still continues for Lord Stuart’s brother, Captain the Honourable Robert Sheffield Stuart, 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers, now Viscount Stewart, who was reported wounded and missing 2nd November 1914, and failing whom the Honourable Arthur Stuart, Lieutenant 7th Royal Berkshire Regiment, brigade machine gun officer, 78th Infantry Brigade, becomes Viscount Stewart.
At the time of Lord Stuart’s death the search was still going on for his brother, Robert, who had been reported wounded and missing since November 1914.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 13th October 1915: How Viscount Stuart died
The commanding officer of the 6th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers gives the following particulars regarding the death of Viscount Stuart, eldest son and heir of the Earl and Countess of Castle Stewart, Stuart Hall, Stewartstown, County Tyrone, reported in our columns last week:
‘Lord Stuart was holding a very advanced trench when he was shot through the heart, so death was instantaneous. The trench had to be evacuated, and so his body could not be recovered. The officer who told me this was afterwards killed. Lord Stuart was a favourite with all ranks and was ever thoughtful for the comfort of his men, who consequently would follow him anywhere. In short, he was a very gallant gentleman.’
Lord Stuart’s sergeant, who is now in England suffering from gas poisoning, also writes:-
‘As you might have expected, he died a very gallant death, like the brave officer he was. Having led his men in attacking the enemy, we were in turn counter attacked, and the Viscount was shot through the lungs. He did not speak beyond saying ‘Oh sergeant’, and died by my side. May I respectfully offer you my deepest sympathy on your sad loss, a loss that is shared by every man in the regiment.’
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 16th October 1915:
STUART – Killed in action in France between 25th and 27th September, Andrew, Viscount Stuart, Lieutenant, 6th Service Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, eldest and dearly loved son of the Earl and Countess of Castlestewart, aged 34.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 16th October 1915: Viscount Stuart
We much regret to record the death of Andrew john, Viscount Stuart, Lieutenant of the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers, who was killed in action in France between 25th and 27th September.
The deceased, who was 34 years of age and unmarried, was the eldest son and heir of the 6th Earl of Castlestewart (late of Madras Civil Service who succeeded to the title last year) and Emma Georgina, Countess of Castlestewart, the youngest daughter of the late General Arthur Stephens, and Indian Mutiny veteran.
Viscount Stuart was educated at Shrewsbury and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, with a view to entering the Indian Civil Service. Failing to pass, he turned to literary and scholastic work, interesting himself in the questions of the day, notably education and agriculture. His chief pastime was rowing, for which he carried off cups at school, and he rowed in the college boat at Oxford. He combined a taste for literature for fine arts with love for an open air life and did everything he could to encourage games, both when at home and at the front. He also travelled a good deal, not only on the continent, visiting the picture galleries, and in Egypt, but enjoyed a visit to the Holy Land. He was private secretary to Mr Turner, of Stoke Rockford, when the war broke out. With all the best of our nobility, he answered the country’s call and volunteered for active service. He obtained a commission in the Royal Scots and last May proceeded to the front. He took part in the great advance of the allies in France which commenced on 25th September and died defending the captured trenches. His colonel has supplied the following particulars of his last stand:-
‘Lord Stuart was holding a very advanced trench near Halanes (Hohenzollern Redoubt) when he was shot through the heart, so that death was instantaneous. The trench had to be evacuated, and so his body could not be recovered. The officer who told me this was afterwards killed. Lord Stuart was a favourite with all ranks and was ever thoughtful for the comfort of his men, who consequently would follow him anywhere. In short, he was a very gallant gentleman.’
Lord Stuart’s sergeant, who is now in England suffering from gas poisoning, also writes:-
‘As you might have expected, he died a very gallant death, like the brave officer he was. Having led his men in attacking the enemy, we were in turn counter-attacked, and the Viscount was shot through the lungs. He did not speak beyond saying ‘Oh sergeant’, and died by my side. May I respectfully offer you my deepest sympathy on your sad loss, a loss that is shared by every man in the regiment.’
Lord Stewart was the author of the following verses entitled ‘Sailor, what of the debt we owe you?’ which appeared in the Times on 16th September 1914:- (see above)
His parents and his younger brothers and sisters mourn the loss of one they loved and who seemed so eminently fitted to adorn the position which would have been his, in the natural course of time, but for the bullet of the enemy. We too, representing the district associated with the Castlestewart family, lament the death of Viscount Stuart – a serious student of human problems, brought up in the atmosphere of a Christian home combining the refined taste of the art connoisseur with the patronage of healthy games – he should have become an ideal leader to the community in which he lived, as well as an ornament of the nobility of which he would have been a member.
The search still continues for Lord Stuart’s brother, Captain the Hon R S Stuart, 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers, now Viscount Stuart, who was reported wounded and is missing since November, but hopes are cherished that he may be a prisoner of war, though his name has not been returned. Should it be too that he has lost his life, the Hon Arthur Stuart, Lieutenant, 7th Royal Berks Regiment, bridge machine gun officer, 78th Infantry Brigade, becomes Viscount Stuart.
At the time of Andrew’s death, the search was still going on for his brother, Captain the Honourable Robert Sheffield Stuart, 1st Royal Scots Fusiliers, who had become Viscount Stewart, but been reported wounded and missing on 2nd November 1914.
After confirmation of Robert’s death, a younger brother, the Honourable Arthur Stuart, who was serving as a lieutenant in the 7th battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, brigade machine gun officer, 78th Infantry Brigade, became Viscount Stuart and heir.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 4th December 1915:
‘Irish Life’ for 26th November contains another illustrated supplement with portraits of Irishmen who have fallen. Amongst those we notice are Lieutenant Jordan (son of the late Rev Dr Jordan, Magherafelt), Viscount Stewart (son of the Earl of Castlestewart) and Captain A Moutray Read, V.C. (nephew of Mrs Hassard, Desertcreat).
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 4th December 1915:
In few parts of the United Kingdom have the aristocracy come to the support of the Empire in the hour of danger better than in Tyrone. Almost all the country families have put every man of military age in the fighting line, and those who are too old, with the women, are doing what they can in different ways, to help win the war, irrespective of their personal comfort. In this noble roll of honour the house of Castlestewart, so closely identified with the Cookstown district, holds a high place. The present Earl, eldest son of the Hon the Rev Andrew Stewart (his mother being a daughter of Viscount Powerscourt) succeeded his cousin early in 1914. He had been in the Indian Civil Service for a number of years, but had retired and spent most of his time in travel and in the study of art. Being 74 years of age (he was 13 years of age when his grandfather the 2nd Earl died), he was of course too old for military service. Having been so long in India, he was accustomed to spend the winter in warmer climates than these islands afford, but he volunteered his assistance to the government and he is daily attendance at the War Office, doing what he can to release younger men for active service.
His eldest son, Andrew John, also a lover of art and a student of present day questions, was annually the guest of the late Earl and Countess of Castlestewart who, with characteristic thoughtfulness, insisted in his becoming acquainted with Stuart Hall and the state to which, in the course of nature, he would succeed. But at the cll of King and country Viscount Stuart, as he had then become, in the prime of manhood, gave up the bright prospect before him, entered the training camp and died in the trenches at Loos, with his face to the enemy.
The second son, Robert Sheffield, was a soldier by profession. Educated at Charterhouse, he entered Sandhurst where he was quickly promoted to be colour sergeant, and in 1906, when in his 20th year, was gazetted to the Royal Scots Fusiliers. The regiment was afterwards quartered in Dublin, and here the young lieutenant, a splendid horseman, hunted with the Ward, Meath and Kildare Hunts, rode at Fairyhouse and Punchestown, and played polo and football for the regiment. When in Dublin he met Constance Evelyn, the youngest daughter of Captain Croker, of the 93rd Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders (who is just now living with the Countess), but they have no family. Though taking part in the lighter side of an officer’s life, he did not neglect serious work, and in 1911 he passed as first class interpreter in French, and the next year went to Russia, becoming a first class interpreter in 1913. He was with the 1st Battalion in South Africa and took part in suppressing the riots in Johannesburg, returning to England in March 1914. When war was declared the Royal Scots Fusiliers were amongst the first in the field, and Captain Stuart took part in the retreat from Mons and fought the battles of the Marne and the Aisne, being mentioned in despatches. In stemming the final attempt of the Germans to get through to Calais on 2nd November 1914, he led a night attack at the head of his company on some German trenches, and it was on the return of the attacking party (who had to retire) that Captain Stuart was reported missing. The Germans had possession of the ground and a search was impossible. It is still hoped that he has been captured, though the name has not been returned by the Germans, and till the war is over, the title to the viscountcy is in abeyance. Colonel Douglas Smyth, in a letter already published wrote:-
‘I could always depend on him for any work her had to carry out, and throughout the war he has behaved splendidly. I feel I have been deprived of a great friend and good officer, and I cannot afford to lose either without feeling it deeply.’
The third son, Arthur, who is 26 years of age, was educated at Charterhouse, where he was distinguished both at study and games, being in the football eleven and obtaining a leaving exhibition. He went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and took his degree with honours in the classical tripos. He completed his education at the Sorbonne, Paris, and accepted a temporary mastership at Rugby where he was when the war broke out. He at once resigned and offered himself to the Public Schools Camp for service, but an attack of illness, consequent of over work at the Sorbonne, compelled him to leave. After a term’s work however, as master at Charterhouse, he again offered himself and joined the 7th Royal Berks Regiment at Reading on Christmas Day 1914, and before going to the front in September, he was appointed brigade machine gun officer. He is now in the Levant with the British columns.
The youngest son, Charles Patrick, was also a student of great promise, but his health gave way and he is an invalid, unable to take his share in the defence of the Empire to which his brothers have devoted their lives.
His mother, whose health has also suffered from the strain, has had to abandon the many forms of Christian work in which she was engaged, both in India and since her residence in England in order to nurse him, and is living in Surrey for his sake. For the same reason she cannot assist in work for the army, with which her own family have been identified for generations.
Her father, Major General Arthur Stevens, was in the Indian Army for many years, and was a fine type of Christian soldier. Three brothers of her mother were in the army, Colonel Charles Sheffield Dickson raised and commanded the German legion in the Crimea, another distinguished himself in the Carlist war and the third general served in India, while their father, Major Richard Dickson, 1st Life Guards, died of wounds in the Peninsular war. A generation further back, General Cox, great grandfather of the Countess of Castlestewart, commanded the Guards.
But although the Countess is unable to assist in war work, her daughter-in-law (who, if her husband is fortunately as prisoner of war, is now Viscountess Stuart), is a Red Cross and V.A.D. nurse, and in spite of her anxiety as to her husband’s fate, she has obtained an appointment on the staff of St Mary’s Hospital, just opened.
His Lordship’s only daughter, Lady Katherine Stuart, was also an active worker in connection with the Princess Mary’s Fund, till laid up with a severe illness from which she is now happily recovering.
From the Belfast Newsletter dated 10th June 1918:
The King’s Birthday awards for valuable services rendered in connection with military operations in Salonika include the following:- Captain Viscount Stuart, Machine Gun Corps, awarded the Military Cross, is a son of the Earl of Castle Stewart, of Stuart Hall, Stewartstown, County Tyrone.
From the Mid Ulster Mail dated 3rd August 1918:
Captain Viscount Stuart, M.C., of Stuart Hall, Stewartstown, has been promoted to the rank of Major.
Lieutenant Andrew John Stuart has no known grave and is commemorated on panel 46-49 on the Loos Memorial, France.
Lieutenant Andrew John Stuart is also commemorated on Stewartstown Cenotaph and Donaghendry Church of Ireland Roll of Honour.
The CWGC record Viscount Andrew John Stuart as the son of Andrew, 6th Earl of Castlestewart, and Georgiana, Countess of Castlestewart, of Bayuda, Sunningdale, Berkshire. It also states that he was educated at Shrewsbury and Corpus Christi College, Oxford and that his brother, The Hon. Robert Sheffield Stuart, also fell.