To honour those who served their country

“In this their finest hour”

Royal Marine-tn



Alan George Ferguson-Warren

Ferguson-Warren-Alan George

1900/10/29 - Born Bournemouth, Hants

Graduate of Staff College, Camberley or Quetta

Enlisted as Alan George Warren

Royal Marine


Service History

Date Commissioned

1st January 1919

Date retired

21st January 1953



Awarded wings

15th March 1926

Flying schools

R.A.F Netheravon 27th April 1925
R.A.F Leuchars 16th November 1925

Aircraft types flown

Fleet Spotter types. DH 9A, Fairey IIID and IIID Seaplane


441 Flight Hermes 10th April 1926 Mediterranean.
441 Flight Eagle 15th June 1926 Mediterranean.
441 Flight Hermes 7th October 1926 China.

Aircraft Carriers

Hermes 10th April 1926 to 14th June 1926 
and 7th October 1926 to 31st May 1929
Eagle 15th June 1926 to 6th October 1926


C.B.E. 1st January 1952 New Years Honours 1952.
D.S.C. 29th Februaury 1946 "For distinguished services in organising the withdrawal of Officers and men in the face of a very heavy enemy attack after the fall of Singapore in March 1942."
1939/45 War medals including Pacific and Defence.


Japanese PoW

1942/03/17 - Captured Padang, Sumatra

PoW No. M-896

Japanese Index Card - Side One


Japanese Index Card - Side Two


Transported to Singapore

1942/10/26 - Transported overland to Thailand in Letter Party ‘W’, train 2

20th train to Thailand

Commander Lt-Col. R.McL. More, 2 H.A.A. K.S.P.A. RA

Group 4 and commanded 15 (W) Work Battalion.

New PoW No. IV 5911

Thailand Camps:-

Kannyu 1 camp (just south of Hellfire Pass), 150km from Nong Pladuk

 Tha Sao, 125km from Nong Pladuk

Tha Muang and Kanchanaburi Officers Camp, 40km from Nong Pladuk.

New PoW No. IV 1654

1945/08/30 - Liberated Thailand


Ferguson-Warren-Alan George- London Gazette-a
Ferguson-Warren-Alan George- London Gazette-b

Distinguished Service Cross - Naval


Defence Medal



1939-1945 Star-tn

Pacific Star

War Medal

1939-1945 Star


Post War

1948/06/30 - Promoted to Colonel

1951/04/06 - Presentation of Canton Bell to United States

Ferguson-Warren-Alan George - Canton Bell

Colonel Alan George Ferguson-Warren presented the Canton Bell on behalf of the Royal Marines to the US Marine Corps.

(Colonel A.G. Ferguson-Warren is pictured centre)

Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham Evening News

1953 - Retired



27th December 1975

Milford Nursing Home

New Forest, Hampshire



The Washington Post

A Virginia school remembers a life lived on the knife’s edge

By John Kelly

Posted January 21st 2013

Alan Ferguson-Warren, and he was a Royal Marine. In the 1920s, he flew over the China Sea in a biplane looking for pirates. After the British retreat at Dunkirk in World War II, Colonel Warren, as he was later known, was sent on a secret mission to rescue stragglers left behind. His team found none. When the Royal Navy vessel that was supposed to pick him up failed to materialise, he purchased a rowboat from a sympathetic Frenchman and rowed it back to England.

The British government next sent Colonel Warren to Singapore to organise a guerilla force. He eventually wound up at Padang in Sumatra, from whence he was to make his escape. But he encountered some 800 British enlisted men and junior officers who had been abandoned by their superiors. Discipline had broken down as they nervously awaited the Japanese. Colonel Warren feared they would be executed.

And so he decided to stay behind, take command, whip them into shape and then oversee an orderly surrender to the Japanese. That’s what he did, giving his seat aboard the last boat out of Padang to a young Welsh artillery officer named Geoffrey Rowley-Conwy.

After their surrender, Colonel Warren and the others were sent by the Japanese to a prisoner-of-war camp in Thailand on the River Kwai. (He had more than a passing interest in a certain 1958 Alec Guinness movie.)

In the camps, he acquired an almost religious appreciation for literature, said Jerry Jasper last week at Flint Hill. Books there were precious things.

Jerry “Flint Hill Class of 1962”  knew Colonel Warren not as a commando, but as a teacher. In 1957, the former Royal Marine joined the staff at the Fairfax County private school teaching English. For a while, he drove a school bus, too.

Colonel Warren was 6 foot 2, with an erect carriage and a steely gaze. Jerry remembers thinking, This is the first person I’ve ever met who could kill a man.

At Flint Hill, the enemy was flabby language. It was grammatical errors. A poorly written essay would be returned covered in red ink. As Colonel Warren handed it back, he would thunder, “A perfect  bull’s foot”

No one was sure what a bull’s foot was, but they knew it wasn’t good.

Colonel Warren drilled vocabulary words into his students, illustrating them with examples from his exploits. The word sheepish? It described how he felt after he had dived into the Yangtze River to retrieve a sea plane that had come loose in a storm and was floating away, only to be told it was a particularly gutsy move, considering the crocodiles that were nearby.

The colonel hadn’t known about the crocodiles.

As with all great teachers, Colonel Warren’s lessons went beyond what was in the books. Judith Shoemaker, Class of 73, would stop by his classroom for lunch nearly every day. “It was amazing, just talking about life” she said. He was a person of character and courage, and he let his students know they could aspire to the same qualities.

His influence was important when Judith became a veterinarian and decided to specialise in alternative medicine.

“I got called a quack” she said.

“But you had an infusion of Warren courage” Jerry pointed out.

In 1974, Colonel Warren learned he had cancer. He retired from Flint Hill and returned to England. There he met Ian Skidmore, a veteran journalist who wound up writing a biography of the colonel called ‘Marines Don't Hold Their Horses’.

Skidmore introduced Warren to another veteran of his acquaintance, Lord Langford, the 9th Baron Langford of Summerhill. This turned out to be Rowley-Conwy, the Welsh officer to whom Warren had given his seat on the last boat out of Sumatra. Reacquainted and knowing he was near death, Colonel Warren gave Lord Langford his ceremonial Fairbairn-Sykes commando dagger.

Lord Langford is now 100 years old. When he learned that Flint Hill graduates had created the Anglo-American Ferguson-Warren Society to honour the memory of their teacher, he sent the school the dagger.

Last week, it was unveiled at Flint Hill a sharp and steely reminder of a sharp and steely man.

Background Music by SPPC Songs




Andrew Snow - Thailand Burma Railway Centre


Chatham, Rochester and Gillingham Evening News


John Kelly - The Washington Post


London Gazette


KEW Files:- WO 345/54, WO 361/1979, WO 361/1954, WO 361/2196, WO 361/1987, WO 361/2069,


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