Buchanan-Jardine, Andrew Rupert John, born in London on 02-02-1923. The baronetcy – in which he succeeded on the death of his father in 1969 – was created in 1885 for Robert Jardine, a Liberal politician and head of the trading house Jardine Matheson.Rupert was an only child, and spent the first four years of his life at Comlongon Castle, Dumfriesshire, which his parents had rented. It was there that his riding ability first became apparent. The nursery floor had a shiny linoleum surface, and when Rupert and a contemporary, Anthony Lowther, who visited regularly, were placed on their potties at one end they would propel themselves forward with their legs to see who could reach the far wall first.
On the death of his grandfather in 1927, Rupert moved with his parents to Castlemilk, near Lockerbie. It was around this time that a German governess was employed to commence his education and he became fluent in the language.
Aged 13 he went to Harrow, where he played cricket for the 1st XI. He was at school at the outbreak of the Second World War, and when a German bomber dropped some incendiary devices which landed on the school roof, as a member of the fire fighting squad he was responsible for extinguishing them.
Buchanan-Jardine enlisted in the Household Cavalry and was commissioned in 1942. He loved horses, and his dislike of the noisy vehicles that had replaced them was confirmed when, shortly after arriving on Salisbury Plain, he was ordered to get on a motorcycle. He had travelled no more than a few yards when it burst into flames. Not long after D-Day, his division was posted to Normandy.
Soon after the exploit which gained him an MC, he was asked to go to investigate a town, once again behind enemy lines, to assess the strength of the German forces that were stationed there. A preparation for Operation Market Garden to secure the invasion of Brian Horrock’s XXX corps
The two scout cars crossed J.O.E. Vandeleur‘s Bridge in Overpelt Belgium and entered the Netherlands as the first Allied forces.
Having worked out a simpler and safer way to gain this information, Buchanan Jardine went into a post office in Allied territory and persuaded the postmaster to connect him to the town’s burgomaster. Knowing that Germans always shout when giving orders, he bellowed down the telephone a demand to know how many troops were stationed there. He was soon able to report back that the town was heavily defended, thereby preventing severe Allied losses.
On another occasion, after breakfast, he set off into the woods to relieve himself and had just crouched down behind a bush when a German soldier (who had been hiding in the same woods) came running up with his hands in the air, saying that he wanted to surrender. Thanks to his governess’s expert tuition, Buchanan-Jardine was able to tell the man, in impeccable German, to “Go and wait over there until I have completed my business.”
On September 11 1944, one week before the start of Operation Market Garden, Buchanan-Jardine, then aged 21 and serving with the 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment, was ordered to carry out a patrol, believed to be the first by Allied forces into Holland. Moving well ahead of the main force, he led his troop to reconnoiter a bridge near Valkenswaard, south of Eindhoven and more than six miles behind enemy lines.
When he was held up by German infantry armed with panzerfausts
he decided to charge through with two scout cars. The other one was under command of Lance Corporal Jack Brook
with his driver Buckley Five miles further on, just short of Valkenswaard, he was pinned down by a tank. He remained in observation for half an hour gaining valuable information, but was then warned by a civilian that the enemy was moving up behind him.
He made a high-speed dash down an enemy-held road, with his two scout cars, reporting back by radio that the strategically-important bridge was still intact. He then returned along the same road, passing through the now fully-alerted German forces.
He was awarded an immediate MC , and Queen Wilhelmina presented him with the Bronze Lion of the Netherlands.
In 1949, after leaving the Army, Buchanan-Jardine went to the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester to study Estate Management and Forestry.
Shortly after his marriage he started hunting his pack of black and tan foxhounds, which his father had bred. Hunting was the great passion in his life and he was a Master of the Dumfriesshire Foxhounds for 51 years.
When hunting, as he knew it, was banned he decided that the hounds, which he had bred specifically for their physical strength, nose and voice, would be impossible to control sufficiently to comply with the new rules. He retired from hunting and gave his hounds away, mostly to overseas packs, so that they could continue to hunt in the manner for which he had bred them.
He was very philosophical about this decision, saying only that he had been extremely privileged to have been able to pursue his chosen sport for so long and that he had derived enormous pleasure from this experience.
The marriage of Captain Sir John W. Buchanan-Jardine, Royal Horse Guards, and Miss Prudence A. Haggie, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. W. Haggie, of Knayton, Thirsk, Yorkshire, took place yesterday at St. Colomba’s Church, House Chapel, Lennox Gardens, S.W.. The Rev. A. Mowat officiated.
The bride was given away by her father. Mr. John Drummond (brother-in-law of the bridegroom) was best man.
Death and burial ground of Buchanan-Jardine, Andrew Rupert John.
Rupert Buchanan-Jardine died on 24-08-2010, age 87 in Dixons. He married, in 1950, Fiona Edmonstone. The marriage was later dissolved, and he is survived by their son, John, born in 1952, who succeeds in the baronetcy, and their daughter.
Andrew Buchanan Jardine is buried at the Old St. Mungo Kirkyard Lockerbie cemetery, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland.