It is with immense sadness that we announce the passing of Captain Alwyne A. C. Farquharson MC of Invercauld, Chief of the Clan Farquharson and former Chieftain of the Ballater Highland Games.
Educated at Eton College and Oxford University, Alwyne assumed the title in 1941 when his aunt Myrtle was killed in a bombing raid in London, but didn’t matriculate until after the war, when he returned to take up the seat at Invercauld.
A former Cavalry Officer, Alwyne served with The Royal Scots Greys, the Regiment that amalgamated in 1971 to become The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, Scotland's senior regiment and only Cavalry Regiment, of which Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II is Colonel-in-Chief.
During World War Two, Alwyne saw active service at El Alamein and in France, where he was wounded. As a result of his brave actions in France, he was awarded a Military Cross.
His appointment as Chieftain of the Ballater Highland Games was duly confirmed at a Public Meeting of the Games held on 24th November 1948, and, all the way through to the summer of 2019, he never missed a games day. In fact, the 2019 Games, where crowds and Pipe Bands turned out in force to celebrate Alwyne's 100th Birthday, was his 71st consecutive year attending Ballater Highland Games as its Chieftain. He stepped down from this role on 1st May 2021 (his 102nd Birthday).
He held the office of Member of the Aberdeenshire County Council between 1949 and 1975 and of Justice of the Peace (J.P.) for Aberdeenshire in 1951.
Captain Farquharson, son on Major Edward Robert Francis Compton and Sylvia Farquharson of Invercauld, was born on 1st May 1919. At 102 years old, he is believed to have been the oldest and longest serving Clan Chief in Scottish history.
Alwyne could trace his lineage back to Farquhar, 4th Son of Alexander Ciar (Shaw) Mackintosh of Rothiemurcus (1411 – 1492), whose descendants include the Farquharsons.
Alwyne's first wife, Frances, whom he married in 1949, died in 1991. In 1993, he married Patricia and from their home in Norfolk they returned regularly to Royal Deeside.
The Great Tapestry of Scotland, the longest Tapestry in the world (at 143 metres), launched in 2021 in a purpose built venue in Galashiels. Accompanying the launch, is the temporary exhibition "Iconic Scotland" (running until January 2022) featuring our eminent Chief as the embodiment of Scottish Clan Culture.
During our 2020 Virtual Gathering, we shared several speeches and highlights of our wonderful Clan Chief who was loved and revered in equal measure. We will always be grateful to him for his constant dedication to the Clan, to the Ballater Highland Games and to the local community.
His passing will be deeply felt by many, not least his dear wife, Patricia, to whom we extend our heartfelt condolences.
Alwyne is succeeded as Chief by his Great Nephew, Philip Farquharson, 17th of Invercauld. This site will be updated soon, once we have paid tribute to this remarkable man who has been exemplary for over seven decades as Chief of Clan Farquharson. Meanwhile, we pledge our full support to Philip, the new Chief of Clan Farquharson and new Chieftain of the Ballater Highland Games.