Major General Fergus Alan Humphrey Ling CB CBE DSO DL
Fergus Ling was born in 1914, and was educated at Stowe and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, before being commissioned into the Queen's Royal Regiment in December 1934. Soon after, he went out to India to join the 1st Battalion of his Regiment, and then received his first experience on the staff, as Staff Captain of the Allahabad Brigade in 1938/39.
After the outbreak of war he returned to England, and was Adjutant of 165 O.C.T.U at Dunbar before joining the 2/5th Battalion of his Regiment in 1942. This was one of the battalions of 169 Queen's Brigade in 56 London Division which went overseas, initially to Iraq in August 1942. From Iraq the Division motored all the way to Tunisia where it took part in the final battle of the Eighth Army's campaign at Enfidaville. By this time Fergus Ling was Second-in-Command of the battalion and took part as such in the landings at Salerno and its subsequent advance to the German Winter line.
After the battle for Monte Camino he was appointed to command the battalion and led it as one of the assault battalions in the crossing of the River Garigliano in January 1944. In this action he had to re-organize the battalion's attack after one crossing had been put out of action by machine gun and mortar fire, and then pressed home the attack through minefields on to the steep hills overlooking the river. As a result of his personal example and leadership which inspired his battalion to great efforts all of its objectives were achieved, and he was awarded an immediate DSO. After the Garigliano, Fergus Ling led his battalion with enthusiasm and resolution through Anzio, and later throughout the intense battles of the Gothic Line in September 1944.
After the war, Fergus Ling undertook a number of staff appointments, including being on the Directing Staff of the Staff College before commanding the 5th Territorial Battalion of his Regiment from 1954 to 1957. He subsequently commanded the North Midland Brigade TA, was Deputy Adjutant General of the British Army of the Rhine, and finally General Officer Commanding 54 (East Anglian) Division and then Eastern District before retiring in 1969. He was appointed CBE in 1964 and CB in 1968.
In retirement he was President of The Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment Association, and the first Deputy Colonel of The Queen's Regiment before becoming Colonel. He was also the Defence Services Consultant to the Institute for the Study of Conflict. He was also Chairman of SSAFA for Surrey, and Chairman of the County Territorial Army and ACF Committees. He was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Surrey in 1970, and subsequently became Vice Lord Lieutenant in 1975.
Fergus Ling was a good games player, playing cricket and rugger for Stowe, cricket for the RMC and Wiltshire, and representing the RMC at athletics and fencing. He married Sheelah Sarel in 1940, and they had two sons and three daughters.
He died on the 7th May 1995.