Lieutenant Courteney Patrick Flowerdew Lowson

Lieutenant Courtenay Patrick Flowerdew Lowson was born at Hollycot, Lasswade, Midlothian on 4 April 1897. His father was James Gray Flowerdew Lowson, Paper Manufacturer, and member of the King’s Bodyguard for Scotland. His mother was Adelaide Louisa Scott, the daughter of Colonel Courtenay Harvey Saltron Scott (1833–1925) of the Bengal Staff Corps and Highland Light Infantry, the son of General Sir Hopton Scott, veteran of the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny.

Lieutenant Lowson’s grandfather was William Fullerton Lowson (1814 – 1893) born in Arbroath, who in 1865 purchased Balthayock Estate, near Kinfauns. He also maintained a house at Upper Pleasance, Dundee and his business interests were located at Cowgate and St. Andrew’s Street, Dundee.
Lieutenant C P F Lowson was 20 years old when he died. His ashes were originally interred in the family mausoleum at Kinfauns Parish Churchyard. In 1926 they were removed and placed in the church wall behind the tablet to his memory, which was designed by Lorimer and Matthew, Architects, Edinburgh. Recorded at the time of his death his father was Dr. James Gray Flowerdew Lowson, Ph.D., of Quarwood, Stow-on-the-Wold, Gloucestershire.

Lieutenant Lowson was educated (from September 1910 to 1915) at Boxgrove Preparatory School, Winchester, and the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Due to the outbreak of war, he did not take up a place at Christ Church College, Oxford University. He was recorded as being a good horseman, having passed the Cavalry School Course at Tidworth. He was also much interested in mechanics.

In December 1915, Lieutenant Lowson was gazetted Second Lieutenant in the Rifle Brigade and was promoted Lieutenant in July 1916. After leaving Sandhurst he was attached as an Observer to the Royal Flying Corp and was posted to France with RFC 22 Squadron. Lieutenant Lowson flew as observer on many hazardous missions taking photographic images during the Battle of the Somme (1 July 1916 – 18 November 1916).

Lieutenant Lowson obtained his Pilot’s Certificate and was gazetted Flying Officer on 4 July 1917 with seniority from 21 March 1917. He was then attached to RFC 81 Squadron at Scampton, Lincolnshire. Lieutenant Lowson was killed in a flying accident on 3 November 1917 when his aircraft was in mid-air collision whilst carrying out banked turns, with another aircraft flown by Lieutenant Owen Ellis Augustus Allen. Lieutenant Courtenay Patrick Flowerdew Lowson (instructor) was flying Avro 504J, B3224, Lieutenant Owen Ellis Augustus Allen was flying Avro 504J, B3194. Lieutenant Allen was still alive when he reached the ground but died later in the 4th Northern General Hospital in Lincoln. He was 24 years old and is buried in Cambridge (Histon Road) Cemetery. A passenger in Lieutenant Allen’s Avro 504j, 2nd Lieutenant Edward James Gallagher was injured but survived. The subsequent investigation put this crash down to pilot error.

Lieutenant Allen was previously with the 9th Battalion Suffolk Regiment, flew as an observer with “A” flight RFC 22 Squadron and posted to 37 Training Squadron on 6 August 1917. RFC 37 Training Squadron operated out of RFC Scampton between November 1916 and September 1917, equipped with Avro 504, FK3 and DH6 aircraft.

Research by Ken Bruce


The author, Margaret Julia Scott (1843–1913) (Alternate Name(s): Colquhoun (maiden name); M.J. Colquhoun (pseudonym)) was born in 1843 in Calcutta, India, the daughter of James Colquhoun. In 1862 she married Colonel Courtenay Harvey Saltron Scott (1833–1925) of the Bengal Staff Corps and Highland Light Infantry, the son of General Sir Hopton Scott and veteran of the Crimean War and Indian Mutiny. Margaret Julia Scott lived most of her first thirty years in India and returned to England in the 1870s when her husband retired. Her first book was The Invasions of India from Central Asia (1879) which she followed with three novels: Under Orders (1883) set in India; Primus in Indis (1885), a historical novel about India and Clive; and Every Inch a Soldier (1888) about the mutiny. She died in 1913 in London. References: British Census (1881); Burke; Times (11 February 1925)

The only brother of Lieutenant Courteney Patrick Flowerdew Lowson, Denys Colquhoun Flowerdew Lowson was Lord Mayor of London from 1950-51 and was made a Baronet.

The first battle for Kitchener’s new volunteer army, the Battle of the Somme, the British suffered 400,000 casualties for negligible gains. The 57,000 casualties of the first day of the battle is the most ever suffered in one day.

An Avro 504 aircraft was the first British aircraft to be shot down by the Germans, on 22 August 1914. It became obsolete as a frontline aircraft coming into its own as a trainer aircraft with thousands being built during WW1. Twenty-four companies are recorded as manufacturing the Avro 504 under licence and they were operated by thirty-nine countries.

The Polikarpov Po-2 (also known as U-2), a 1928 development of the Avro 504 was in production with the USSR until 1978. The U-2 became best known as the aircraft used by the 588th Night Bomber Regiment, composed of an all-woman pilot and ground crew complement. The unit was notorious for daring low-altitude night raids on German rear-area positions. The pilots earned the nickname “Night Witches” and earned numerous Hero of the Soviet Union and Order of the Red Banner medals during WW2.

The Sphere 19 December 1917

The Sphere 19 December 1917 – Front Page