5th Royal Scots Fusiliers, 1st May 1917
Aberdeen University Roll of Service
An extract from Aberdeen University Roll of Service states:- EWEN, EDGAR HUNTER: Lieutenant (Acting Captain), 5th Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers; son of George Ewen, Tanglan; born Methlick, 27 December 1880; educated at Methlick Public School, Gordon’s College and Aberdeen University; graduated MA in 1904; taught in Invergordon Academy and was Science Master in Troon Academy when war broke out.
He was a member of the University Company as an undergraduate and re-enlisted in the Gordons in 1915. Ewen, like the rest of his family, was an expert shot and was sent to a musketry school to qualify as an instructor. After gaining his certificate he was transferred to the 5th (Res.) Royal Scots Fusiliers with commissioned rank and was appointed Battalion Instructor of Musketry. After the 5th Reserve was amalgamated with the 4th Reserve RSF, Ewen assumed command of one of the training companies. He was accidentally killed in Catterick Camp on 1 May 1917.
How highly Lieutenant Ewen’s services were esteemed may be gathered from the following letter from his Commanding Officer: “I well remember when he came to me at Ayr Race Course. He had been highly spoken of by his former Commanding Officer and I was much in need of effective help. I at once saw that I had got it, and during the all too short time we were together my regard for him steadily increased. I could not have had a more faithful officer, or one who was more concerned to do his very best for the regiment.”
Synopsis of Life and Military Service
In addition to the information from the Aberdeen University above, Edgar reached the rank of Serjeant in the Gordon Highlanders 4th Battalion as number 3547, he was commissioned into the 5th Royal Scots Fusiliers as a 2nd Lieutenant on 13 August 1915, he was then promoted to Temporary Lieutenant on the 6 December 1915. His death was caused when he was struck by a train as he crossed the railway line at the level crossing at Catterick Camp, North Yorkshire. He was later buried at Troon Cemetery, Ayrshire.
Edgar Hunter Ewen was born on 27 December 1880 at Methlick, Aberdeenshire.
In the 1881 and 1891 Census’s his family is shown as living in the village of Methlick, Aberdeenshire and his family consisted of the following:-
- Father – George born c.1840 at Methlick – Occupation – Master Slater
- Mother – Isabella born c.1845 at Fyvie
- Brother – William S. born c.1864 at Methlick – Occupation – Slater Journeyman
- Brother – George H.B.G. born c.1866 at Methlick
- Brother – Edward born c.1869 at Methlick
- Sister – Isabella D. born c.1871 at Methlick
- Brother – John S. born c.1873 at Methlick
- Brother – James S. born c.1875 at Methlick
- Brother – Margaret S.H. born c.1877 at Methlick
- Brother – Patrick B.H.M. born c.1883 at Methlick
- Sister – Ann born c.1883 at Methlick
- Sister – Janet born c.1886 at Methlick
The Executor of his Will is shown as a Catherine McKenzie Ewen, the relationship to this person is not confirmed but there is a probability that this person was his wife.
There is no trace of Captain Edgar Ewen having been awarded any military medals as he did not get to a theatre of war prior to his accidental death.
He is honoured and remembered on the Methlick War Memorial, Aberdeenshire, Aberdeen City War Memorial and the Troon War Memorial, Ayrshire.
Links to Additional Information
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission – Edgar Hunter Ewen
- Find a Grave – Edgar Hunter Ewen
- Imperial War Museum – Troon War Memorial
- Imperial War Museum – Methlick War Memorial
- Imperial War Museum – Aberdeen War Memorial
- Lives of the First World War – Edgar Hunter Ewen
- A Street Near You website – Edgar Hunter Ewen
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Medal Index Card
- 1881 Census
- 1891 Census
- Register of Soldiers Effects
- U.K. Soldiers Died in the Great War
- Supplement to the London Gazette dated 12 August 1915
- Supplement to the London Gazette dated 13 January 1916
- Dumfries and Galloway Standard – 5th May 1917
- Vincent Stuart