Lt. Eric Gordon Henderson Lyon MC, Scottish Rifles

1893 Jan 21. Born Edinburgh, Son of David T and Lizzie Lyon. David Taylor Lyon (1865 Edinburgh) Antique Furniture Dealer, of 4 Hailes Street, Edinburgh, married Elizabeth Williamson Robertson in Melville Street, Edinburgh in 1892

Attended George Heriot School Edinburgh. Apprentice Furniture Draughtsman and Part-Time Student

1915 Aug 14. The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). 12th Battalion— The undermentioned to be temporary Second Lieutenants: — Eric Gordon Henderson Lyon

2nd Lieutenant E G H Lyon MC began at 12Bn 14 Aug 1915, then 13Bn 20 Nov 1915, 12Bn 4 Apr 1916, and 9Bn 27 Jul 1916. Promoted to Lieutenant while serving with 9Bn 1 Jul 1917.

Enlisted at Dunbar on 31 Aug 1914 and posted to a Reserve Bn, then transferred to 4 Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders on 9 Jun 1915. Commissioned into 12 Reserve Bn Scottish Rifles 14 Aug 1915 and posted to Dover School of Instruction. 13Bn 20 Nov 1915, 12Bn 4 Apr 1916, 9Bn end 1916. Gunshot wound to Right Hand and Back in action north east of Arras on 14 Feb 1917. Calais to Dover 28 Feb 1917, admitted to 2 Eastern General Hospital at Brighton 11 Mar 1917. Posted to Command Depot at Randalstown and promoted to Lieutenant 1 Jul 1917. Posted to Scottish Command Depot at Nigg 5 Jun 1918. [MoD Letter]

1916 Feb 14. A transcript of a letter from the OC to the sister of a wounded subaltern. "From Captain TH Hutchison, OC B Coy, 9th Scottish Rifles, 15-2-16. I am writing to tell you about Eric - he was wounded yesterday in the hand, during one of the most glorious stunts we have ever had ... I am awfully sorry to lose him, even temporarily ...I cannot give you many details of the affair just yet, but it was a huge success, Eric was wounded in the third line of the German trenches at the head of his men, and you will hear more about his conduct from official sources ... the total number of prisoners was 43, a fine bag. I got one myself and shot another fifty feet below the ground in one of the dug-outs ... I understand he is now on the way home"". Eric" was 2Lt Eric Gordon Henderson Lyon

Raiding party consisting of 20 officers and 320 other ranks entered enemy trenches at 11 a.m. between KITE and KING craters - a frontage of approximately 350 yards - under cover of a perfect Artillery and Trench Mortar Barrage.  Party penetrated as far as third line to a depth of about 300 yards and returned with 43 prisoners, 2 Machine guns, 1 Trench Mortar, and a large quantity of rifles and material.  Dug-outs were destroyed, and 2 concrete machine gun emplacements and 1 mine shaft were blown up.  A considerable number of enemy dead was left in his trenches.  Our casualties were, 2 O.R. killed, and 2 officers (2nd LIEUT FERGUSON and 2nd LIEUT LYON) and 13 other ranks wounded, and 1 other rank missing.  [9Bn War Diary]

By far the most notable raid was that of the 'Rifles' on 14th February …. Even Sir Douglas Haig sent a message of congratulation. [John Ewing History of 9 (Scottish) Division]

The ground selected for the operation was ….. east of Roclincourt [just outside Arras]
At 1100 hours on 14 February Major Forsyth led his party across No Man's Land and, passing through the two gaps cut in the enemy wire, penetrated the German position to a depth of about 300 yards. The artillery barrage fell along three sides of a rectangle, effectively screening the assaulting infantry and imprisoning the enemy garrison within the "box". The infantry assault was a complete surprise, the Germans having just settled down to their mid-day meal. In the fighting which followed the 9th Scottish Rifles killed many men, destroyed several dug-outs, and blew up two concrete machine gun emplacements and one mine shaft. Two machine guns, one trench mortar and a large number of rifles and a quantity of trench stores were brought safely back together with 43 prisoners. The withdrawal was successfully completed ….. The battalion lost two rank and file killed, two officers and thirteen rank and file wounded, and one man was missing. [Henry Story History of the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)]  

1917 Mar 26. MC Gazetted "Temp. 2nd Lt. Eric Gordon Henderson Lyon, Scot. Rif. For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a raid on the enemy's trenches. He was severely wounded in the earlier stages of the raid, but continued to lead his men till the objective was reached

1917 Jul 1. Promoted Lt

1918 Oct 13. He relinquished his commission on the grounds of ill health contracted on active service, and was granted the hon rank of Lt, and there is a note of a SWB on the medal index card .

1918 Dec 13. Lieutenant EGH Lyon MC, Scottish Rifles, awarded Silver War Badge B45880. Home address 3 Archibald Place, Edinburgh. [SWB Officers List 1287 dated 13 Dec 1918]

1920 Dec 29 Joined ADRIC with service no 1354. Posted to A Coy

1921 Mar 12. Discharged Medically unfit. Unfitness not due to RIC service

10 Apr. 1921., Defence Force (Royal Scots 5th Bat) to be Lt Eric Gordon Henderson Lyon, M.C.

1935 Feb 27. Twins George Alexander Lyon and Norah Elizabeth Lyon, age 5 weeks, born. Mother is Jessie McNaughton (37) known as Mrs Lyon, caretaker, c/o Dr & Mrs Fieldman. See below. The mother married a soldier in Edinburgh in 1918 and bore him a daughter, May. She left him six years ago, taking May with her. Subsequently for some years she cohabited with the putative father Eric George Gordon Henderson Lyon. He was wounded in the right hand and back and awarded the Military Cross. For the last 16 years of his life he received a 40% Army disability pension of 32/- per week. At first they lived with his father in Scotland. Two years ago they took a joint situation in service in Whittlesey, Cambs. Their son David has been boarded out at Whittlesea. During 1934 they were again in joint service, in Dorking, and four months ago they obtained a joint appointment as caretakers for Dr Fieldman at 56 Regents Park Road, NW1. They received no wages but were allowed free rent, light and fuel. On 1 Mar 1935 the putative father collapsed in the street while with Dr Fieldman on his rounds. He was taken to the Metropolitan Hospital where on arrival he was found to be dead. At the inquest the cause of death was found to be coronary thrombosis. The British Legion paid for the funeral and made a compassionate grant to the mother for her recent confinement. After a few weeks in a Convalescent Home in Leigh-on-Sea she returned to Dr Fieldman’s house a week ago. Mother signed Agreement for the twins to be admitted into care on 5 Apr 1935, for an initial term of 12 months. (Some extracts from record books show that Norah was still in a foster home in 1942) [Dr Barnardo’s]

1935 Mar 1. Died Hackney, London aged 39. He died of a coronary at the age of 39, although the Death certificate does not suggest that it was war-related.


WO 339/37573