'Immense sadness' as Captain Alwyne Farquharson dies aged 102

Captain Alwyne Farquharson has died at the age of 102.

Captain Alwyne Farquharson has died at the age of 102. - Credit: Steven Rennie

Captain Alwyne Farquharson, the oldest and longest-service clan chief in Scottish history, has died at the age of 102 at his home in Norfolk.

Captain Alwyne Arthur Compton Farquharson MC of Invercauld and Monaltrie, 16th Chief of Clan Farquharson, died on Wednesday, October 6 at his home in Brancaster Staithe.

He is believed to have been Scotland’s oldest and longest serving clan chief and was chieftain of the Ballater Highland Games on Deeside for 73 years.

Captain Alwyne Farquharson is believed to have been Scotland’s oldest and longest serving clan chief.

Captain Alwyne Farquharson is believed to have been Scotland’s oldest and longest serving clan chief. - Credit: Jonathan Findlay

The clan chief served in the Second World War and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery during the Normandy Landings.

After the end of the Second World War, he moved to Aberdeenshire to assume the role of chief and become the 16th Laird of Invercauld, roles he is said to have "cherished for many decades".

The war veteran's role as Scotland’s oldest Clan Chief is recognised in the Iconic Scotland exhibition, currently running as part of the Great Tapestry of Scotland display in the Scottish Borders.

The Scottish laird retired to Brancaster Staithe 28 years ago after marrying Madame Patricia Farquharson, formerly Patricia de Winton, who supported her husband in his role as chieftain of the Ballater Highland Games.

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His last Games was in 2019, attending at the age of 100.

Paying tribute to his step-dad, Tom de Winton said: "He retired to be with my mother here at Brancaster Staithe. He's played a part of the community leading, and led memorial services here in the villages commemorating our glorious dead.

"He enjoyed life here and he used to sail in Brancaster Staithe Harbour, he used to take part in shooting and was very keen on all wildlife.

"He was one of the most kindest and loyal people, his sense of duty and honour through his Army life and his occupation was immense, and we should all aspire to be something like him. We walk in his shadow."

He added that the clan chief was a friend of the Royal family.

Mr Winton said: "He was a great man, and a pillar to his community both up in Scotland and here. He won the heart of a Norfolk girl, and as we all know Norfolk girl's bring their men home."

Ballater Highland Games

The clan chief pictured at the Ballater Highland Games. - Credit: David Cowe

A post paying tribute to him on the Clan Farquharson UK Facebook page expressed the "immense sadness" of their chief's passing.

It said: "For seven decades, he was both Chief of Clan Farquharson and Chieftain of The Ballater Highland Games.

"Believed to be the oldest and longest serving Clan Chief in Scottish history, he was without doubt one of the most dedicated to his role and touched many hearts.

Ballater Highland Games

The clan chief served in the Second World War and was awarded the Military Cross for bravery during the Normandy Landings. - Credit: David Cowe

"I am sure you will join me in expressing our deepest sympathies and heartfelt condolences to Madam Farquharson and the wider family.

"Our thoughts are also with you all, as the chief played an important part in all of our lives and he will be dearly missed."

He is succeeded as Chief of Clan Farquharson by his great-nephew, Philip Farquharson, who becomes the 17th Laird of Invercauld.

As laird of the vast Invercauld estate in Aberdeenshire, he was the nearest neighbour of the Queen at Balmoral.

The clan chief was born on May 1, 1919, eldest son of Major Edward Compton of Newby Hall in Yorkshire and Sylvia Farquharson, younger daughter of Alexander Haldane Farquharson of Invercauld.

He was educated at Eton College and then Magdalen College in Oxford. He later joined the Royal Scots Greys and attained the rank of Captain - an achievement he is said to be "very proud of."

Three celebrations of his life will take place, with the first being a funeral held in Norfolk at Brancaster Church on October 22 

A memorial will be held at Braemar Castle in Aberdeenshire during the Clan Farquharson Gathering in the second week of August 2022 and a stone will be laid at the Clan Cairn, Carn-na-Cuimhne, in his memory.

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