b. 22/04/1872 Portland Place, London. d. 29/01/1962 Sussex Place, London.
Alexander Edward Murray (Viscount Fincastle) (1872-1962) was born on 22 April 1872 in Portland Place, London to Charles Murray, 7th Earl of Dunmore and Lady Gertrude Coke, immediately taking the courtesy title of Viscount Fincastle. His grandparents included Alexander Murray, 6th Earl of Dunmore, Lady Catherine Herbert, Thomas Coke, 2nd Earl of Leicester, and Lady Juliana Whitbread. His paternal great-grandmother being the Russian noblewoman Countess Catherine Woronzoff (or Vorontsova), daughter of the Russian ambassador to St James’s, Semyon Romanovich Vorontsov. He was educated privately and at Eton before joining the army in May 1891, before becoming a Lieutenant in 1894.
He was posted to India, and became Aide de Camp to the Viceroy of India from 1895-1897, and served in the Dongola Expedition, 1896 (two Medals). In 1897 he served in the Frontier War, Malakand, with the Guides Cavalry, and took part in the action at Landakai, having his horse shot from under him.
During the fighting at Nawa Bali, in Upper Swat, on the 17th August, 1897, Lieutenant-Colonel R. B. Adams proceeded with Lieutenants H. L. S. MacLean and Viscount Fincastle, and five men of the Guides, under a very heavy and close fire, to the rescue of Lieutenant R. T. Greaves, Lancashire Fusiliers, who was lying disabled by a bullet wound and surrounded by the enemy’s swordsmen. In bringing him under cover he (Lieutenant Greaves) was struck by a bullet and killed — Lieutenant MacLean was mortally wounded — whilst the horses of Lieutenant-Colonel Adams and Lieutenant Viscount Fincastle were shot, as well as two troop horses.
Fincastle was gazetted for the Victoria Cross on 9th November 1897, and received his medal from Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 28th February 1898. He was promoted to Captain in 1899, and served on the Staff throughout the Second Boer War, 1899-1902, with the 6th (Inniskilling) Dragoons and 16th Lancers, and later with the Imperial Yeomanry. He was present at the relief of Kimberley, the operations in the Orange Free State, Transvaal, Orange River Colony, and the Cape Colony. He later commanded the Imperial Yeomanry in the immediate aftermath of the Boer War. He was mentioned in despatches and received the Queen’s Medal with four clasps.
On 4th January 1904, he married Lucinda Dorothea, eldest daughter of Horace Kemble, Knock, Isle of Skye, and they had one son, Edward David Murray, born in 1908, and two daughters, Lady Marjorie Murray and Lady Elizabeth Murray. He succeeded his father as the 8th Earl of Dunmore in 1907, and as Lord Dunmore, served in the Great War, was wounded, and was awarded the DSO for services on the General Staff, on the Somme. He was created a MVO, and was mentioned four times in despatches. He then became Lieutenant Colonel of the 16th Lancers before retirement.
He died at his home, 22 Sussex Lodge, Sussex Place, London on 29th January 1962, aged 90. He was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium and his ashes were scattered on the Crocus Lawn. His medals are not publicly held.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: GOLDERS GREEN CREMATORIUM, LONDON.
ASHES SCATTERED IN GARDEN OF REMEMBRANCE SECTION 4C
Kevin Brazier – Golders Green Crematorium Plaque and Plan
Paul Reed – Replica VC Medal at Lancers Museum, Thoresby Park, Nottinghamshire.