b. 08/10/1879 Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). d. 01/07/1916 Fricourt, France.
Stewart Walter Loudoun-Shand (1879-1916) was born at Dichory, Ceylon on 8th October 1879. The family name of Shand was changed to Loudoun-Shand by deed poll in August 1911. His father was Major John Loudoun Loudoun-Shand, originally from Barony, Lanarkshire. He moved to Ceylon in 1864, where he planted tea, mainly in the Dimbula and Dichorya districts. He was Chairman of the Planters’ Association of Ceylon 1879-1880, Planting Master of the Legislative Council in 1882 and 1884. Stewart’s mother was Lucy nee Lawson, who also hailed from Scotland. She had travelled to Ceylon and married John in Colombo on 29th November 1873. Stewart had ten siblings.
Stewart was educated in England at Dulwich College from 1891-1897 and was then employed by William Deacon’s Bank. He enlisted in the London Scottish Rifle Volunteers on the outbreak of the Boer War, but only served for five months because he was debarred from overseas service due to his age. He transferred to the Pembroke Yeomanry as Stewart Walter Shand for service with the Imperial Yeomanry on 26th January 1900. He served in South Africa as a Lance Corporal with 30th Company, 9th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry until July 1901. Having been discharged, he took up a mercantile appointment at Port Elizabeth, Cape Colony for three years. His father then arranged for appointment for him in Ceylon as a tea merchant, working with his brother William until the outbreak of the Great War.
Stewart had a medical examination in Colombo on 23rd October 1914 and was declared fit for service in the infantry and cavalry. He returned to Britain and was commissioned as a Lieutenant on 28th November. He was promoted Captain in June 1915 and went to France on 9th September. He was promoted to Major on 28th December. He was wounded on 2nd March 1916, but returned to duty on the 10th.
On 1st July 1916 near Fricourt, France, when Major Loudoun-Shand’s company attempted to climb over the parapet to attack the enemy’s trenches, they were met by very fierce machine-gun fire which temporarily stopped their progress. The major immediately leapt on the parapet, helped the men over it and encouraged them in every way until he was mortally wounded. Even then, he insisted on being propped up in the trench and went on encouraging his men until he died.
He was buried in Norfolk Cemetery, near Becourt, France. In addition to his VC, he was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal 1899-1902 (clasps Cape Colony, Orange Free State, and South Africa 1901), 1914-15 Star, British War Medal 1914-20 and Victory Medal 1914-19. He never married and the VC was presented to his father by King George V at Buckingham Palace on 31st March 1917. It was purchased privately by the Ashcroft Trust in 2005 and is part of the Ashcroft Collection in the Imperial War Museum.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: LORD ASHCROFT GALLERY, IMPERIAL WAR MUSEUM, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: NORFOLK CEMETERY, BECORDEL-BECOURT, FRANCE.
PLOT I, ROW C, GRAVE 77
Kevin Brazier – Cemetery Plan.
Dulwich College – Images of the Loudoun-Shand VC Portrait and a replica VC medal group.