|1. Memorial:||West Woodhay (St. Lawrence) Churchyard||SE Corner|
|2. Book:||The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918||Pg.119|
|3. Memorial:||The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour||31B GQS|
Awards & Titles:
|Companion of The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael & St. George |
Distinguished Service Order
Family :Born at Arrochar, 17 September 1872, son of Hugh Cowie, QC, JP. Husband of Victoria Alexandrina Cowie, of Varhn, Studland, Dorset eldest daughter of Sir Howard Elphinstone, VC KCB CMG.
Education & Career :
Charterhouse & Sandhurst
- The First World War 1914-1918, World-wide.
|Unit / Ship / Est.: 1/Dorset Regiment|
1st Battalion August 1914 : in Belfast. Part of 15th Brigade in 5th Division. Landed at Le Havre 16 August 1914. 31 December 1915 : transferred to 95th Brigade in 32nd Division. 7 January 1916 : transferred to 14th Brigade in same Division.
|Action : The Battles of Ypres 1915 (Second Ypres)|
22 April - 25 May 1915. On the 22nd April 1915 the Germans used poison gas at Ypres. This was the first 'official' use of gas and took the Allies by surprise. After initial success capitalising on the confusion and horror of this weapon, a heroic stand, initially by the Canadians and then supported by British and Indian Battalions, held the German advance. However it became clear that the Germans had achieved a tactical advantage and eventually the British were forced to retire to more a more defendable perimeter closer to Ypres. These positions were on the last ridges before Ypres and their loss would have resulted in the loss of the town and possibly open the Channel coast to German occupation with disastrous consequences for the re-supply of the BEF.
COWIE, H N R, Major, 1/Dorset Regiment During 1st May 1915 a gas attack was made against Hill 60. The hill was held by 1/Dorsets under Major H N R Cowie. About 7PM after severe bombardment the Germans from less than 100 Yards released gas on a front of a quarter of a mile. It shot over in thick volumes so quickly that few men had time to adjust their extemporised respirators. As soon as the cloud reached the Dorsets trenches the enemy opened fire, attacked both flanks of the battalion with bombing parties and concentrated the guns to form a barrage on the approaches to the hill. A few of the Dorsets, all suffering from gas, jumped on to the firestep and opened fire. Support units were brought up and the Germans driven out from the initial footing they had gained. The Dorsets suffered heavily. 90 men died in the trenches from gas poisoning. Of 207 that made it to dressing stations, 58 died in dreadful suffering. During this action Private E Warner (1/Bedfordshire) was awarded a posthumous VC. Interestingly the official history tells that Major Cowie was mortally wounded at 6AM on 5th May during the action in which Hill 60 was lost to the Germans. It seems that he was recovered to hospital in the UK and died 15 days later, hence his burial in St Laurence Church.
|Type||Lodge Name and No.||Province/District :|
|Mother :||Anchor of Hope No. 1093 E.C.||Madras|
|Joined :||Wellesley No. 1899 E.C.||Berkshire|
|Joined :||Khyber No. 582 E.C.||London|
31st August 1895
18th September 1895
Joined Wellesley Lodge No. on 2nd December 1913 from Lodge 582.
The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The (UK) National Archives
- Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History online
- ugle.org.uk - The records of the United Grand Lodge of England including the Library and Museum of Freemasonry
- Founder Researchers : Paul Masters & Mike McCarthy
- Researcher : Bruce Littley