Grant, Angus Ivor
He was the younger son of Colonel John Peter Grant CB, MC, TD, DL (A 1899-1904), of Rothiemurchus, Aviemore, Inverness-shire. His mother was Gertrude Margaret Grant (daughter of the Reverend W.H.A. Truell), and his older brother was John Peter Grant (I 1928-1933).
He came from Twyford to Winchester, where he fenced for the School and was a keen musician. On leaving he spent a year studying languages in France and Switzerland before entering the offices of Messrs. Alfred Holt & Co., a shipping line, in July 1939. In March of the same year he had joined the Lovat Scouts, which his father had commanded (1928-1932) and in which his brother was serving. The Lovat Scouts were, in the words of one historian of the unit, “a family regiment in more ways than one. In 1939 there were approximately a hundred, including eleven officers, who were sons of former Scouts. Each squadron teemed with brothers, uncles, nephews and cousins. (Michael Melville, “The Story of the Lovat Scouts”).
Lord Lovat had been allowed to raise two companies of scouts in 1899 for service in South Africa. His main recruits were stalkers, ghillies and shepherds from the northern Highlands of Scotland. They were intended, as the name suggests, to scout out and supply vital intelligence information about the Boers. In World War One the Lovat Scouts had no equals in close observation of the enemy.
In 1939 the Scouts were again mobilized for reconnaissance and close protection duties. Grant was serving as a Second Lieutenant in 1 Troop of ‘A’ Squadron; his brother was the regimental Gas Officer. The Regiment formed part of 9th (Highland) Division until March 1940, when they joined the Mounted Cavalry Division in Nottinghamshire. On April 22nd, however, the Lovat Scouts lost the ponies with which they had trained, and began to re-train in a dismounted role. On May 22nd they embarked at Glasgow on the “Ulster Prince” sailing the next day to the Danish-controlled Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, between Norway and Iceland, which the Lovat Scouts were to protect from an expected German invasion. The vessel moored at the port of Thorshavn on the morning of May 25th 1940 in thick fog. The war diary recorded that as the ship came alongside the pier with the pipers playing, crowds of people, including hundreds of children, came down from the town to look on, and remained there all day.
Grant spent with his regiment the best part of two years on garrison duty in the Faroe Islands. ‘A’ Squadron was billetted in Thorshavn at first, but after a month the three squadrons began to rotate through positions at other points, especially the magnificent natural harbour of Skaalefjord. There were continual patrols and cross-country marches, as well as vigorous training in marksmanship and observation. From the spring of 1941, the odd attack by German aircraft – usually on shipping – relieved the monotony.
Grant was taken suddenly ill and died on March 18th 1942, aged twenty-one. “The death of Lieutenant Angus Grant was a tragic loss to his many friends… Angus was one of the finest and most popular troop leaders in the Regiment”. (Michael Melville, “The Story of the Lovat Scouts”).
He is buried in grave 138 of the Torshavn Cemetery, Faroe Islands.
- Surname: Grant
- Forenames or initials: Angus Ivor
- House: I
- Years in School: 1933-1938
- Rank: Lieutenant
- Regiment: Lovat Scouts
- Date of Birth: 21st March 1920
- Date of Death: 18th March 1942
- How Died: Died of Illness
- Location in War Cloister: Inner A1
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: Torshavn Cemetery, Faroe Islands: Grave 138