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Remembered Today:

J.M Dougall, 'his men have no confidence in him'



John Mitchell Dougall was born on November 23rd, 1879 at 104 Bothwell Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire to William Dougall and Mary Mitchell, John being the eldest out of 4 children. In 1881 his parents as well as him immigrated to Victoria, Australia whilst he was still an infant. He grew up in South Melbourne before the family went back to Scotland in 1891. Upon his return, John Dougall attended a Military College but then his family immigrated back to Australia in 1894. Upon his arrival in Australia he began studying at South Melbourne College.

A young John Dougall, taken whilst he was in Australia

Dougall apparently joined the British Army in 1899 and was appointed Second Lieutenant on March 7th, 1900 and assigned to ‘G’ Company,Dougall.PNG.cd138dd9a7470d3760b9eeed2f881b49.PNG 1st Battalion of the Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders. That same month the Battalion was despatched to South Africa to fight in the Boer War. A raw subaltern, he was serving alongside many veterans of the Sudan Campaign which had taken place a year prior. He left for Durban on the ‘Aberdeen’ on April 5th, 1900. FindaGrave lists that he was at Johannesburg in May 1900, Pretoria in June as well as Diamond Hill. I cannot confidently say clearly however what his involvement was during all of these operations. I can say however that on January 1st, 1901 the colonies that made up Australia became one country. This federation led to the British Army sending parties of men from different regiments to celebrate the federation. All of the officers and men from the contingent came under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Wyndham, C.B of the 21st Lancers and by hook or by crook Second Lieutenant Dougall, a Subaltern who had seen active service on the Veld was to represent his regiment as Officer Commanding the Cameron Highlanders of 24 men. The whole British Army contingent was brought to Australia on the White Star Liner S.S Britannic in January 1901. In a newspaper from Melbourne, Australia dated January 26th, 1901 it shows all the different ‘Guards of Honor’ from the British Army; among them is the 79th Highlanders under Second Lieutenant Dougall. ‘Lieut J.M Dougall, the officer in command of the Cameron Highlanders, is a native to Australia, and among his comrades he is known by the sobriquet of ‘The Bushranger’.

Lieutenant Dougall is second row, fourth from right with the white sash next to a bemedaled soldier

Just after an event at the Jubilee Exhibition Building at Victoria Park in South Australia on February 27th, 1901, Dougall alongside many other soldiers was struck down by heat stroke on King William Street. Dougall was treated at the Adelaide Club but quickly recovered. After a few months in Australia, he returned to his Regiment in South Africa. Second Lieutenant Dougall was promoted to Lieutenant on June 10th, 1901 following the secondment of Lieutenant C.G Collins. Following his promotion, he was involved with his regiment in operations in the Natal-Zululand area in September 1901. It is worth noting that on February 27th, 1902 a party of Q.O.C.H [F Coy] made up the firing squad for the first war crimes prosecuted in the British Army; The men to be executed were Lieutenants Harry ‘Breaker’ Morant and Peter Handcock. The former was a poet and a horsebreaker, the latter a blacksmith. At the time however, Dougall was in G Company but would’ve most certainly have heard of the incident or even seen the prisoners. He returned to England in October 1902 alongside 810 officers and other ranks of the 1st Battalion, Q.O.C.H and was placed on the regimental reserve in February 1903. For his services in the Boer War, Lieutenant Dougall was entitled to the Queens South Africa Medal [Clasps Wittebergen, Diamond Hill, Johannesburg, Cape Colony] and Kings South Africa Medal [Clasps South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902]. A volunteer on FindaGrave lists that family folklore says he was the Aide-de-Camp to General Kitchener, however this is unconfirmed. In his obituary, it says that John Dougall was twice wounded in South Africa.

Second Lieutenant Dougall, of Her Majesties Queens Own Cameron Highlanders; December 28, 1900

Upon his service in the Boer War, Dougall moved back to Melbourne, Victoria. On November 17th, 1904 John Dougall married Francis ‘Kittie’ Gallagher at St Mary’s Presbyterian Church in Scone, New South Wales. According to FindaGrave, this ‘inter-denominational’ marriage caused problems on either side of the marriage, however they still had a child, a daughter born in 1908 [Helen]. The couple settled at ‘Cliffdale’ in Parkville; Cliffdale was a 2300 acre property near Wingen that was bought by Dougall’s father earlier that year. John worked on the dairy part of the property whilst his brother Andrew worked with the horses. By 1909 he was the hotel keeper of the Sovereign Hotel on Guy Street in Warwick, Queensland. After a trip to America in 1910, he settled in Brisbane as a Salesman.

John Dougall applied for a commission on August 20th, 1914 despite still being on the Cameron Highlanders Reserve. He stated that he had served at the Inauguration of King Edward VII and in the Second Boer War - he also stated he was born in 1880 instead of 1879. His application was approved the following day and Dougall was appointed Lieutenant and Officer Commanding ‘H’ Company, 9th Battalion. His fellow officers included Lieutenants Arthur Hinton and Allan Boase. The latter rose to great notoriety, rising to the rank of Lieutenant General with a CBE in his pocket for actions in 1942. After a mere month of training, the whole battalion embarked on September 24th, 1914 from Brisbane, Queensland on the HMAT Omrah being one of the first convoys to depart. The Convoy had a stop over in Williamstown on September 28th, then onto Port Melbourne the following day to pick up further men and provisions. The HMAT Omrah put the sea once more on October 20th, 1914 with 32 Officers and 988 of the 9th Battalion on strength. The voyage involved a stop at Albany (Oct 26 - Nov 1), Colombo (Nov 16), Aden (Nov 25) before the Suez on December 1st. A hopover to Port Said the following day, then Alexandria before their real destination was reached - Mena Camp. Upon arrival, platoon trainings took place, bayonet practice, musketry and some basic formations.

Lieutenant or Captain Dougall in Cairo, Egypt in 1915

Dougall was appointed Captain on February 1st, 1915 in Egypt as a result of the restructuring of the Company Structure across the First Australian Imperial Force which had taken place a month previous. I believe he became Second-in-Command of ‘D’ Company under Captain Isaac Jackson. On February 9th, a complement of reinforcements joined the Battalion. At the end of February, a count found that the battalion had a fighting strength of 1038 officers and men. On March 1st the Battalion arrived in Alexandria, then onto Lemnos on March 28th. On around April 15, the Battalion left Lemnos on the ship ‘Malda’. On April 24th at 10pm, the men were told to get ready and had their last meals before the operation. A letter from Private Ray Baker reads the following.. 

‘The ship had left the harbour just before sundown and after four hours steaming had anchored at some place in the open sea unknown to us. Somewhere about midnight, British destroyers – there were two of them – came alongside, and we were immediately transhipped to them. They were to take us to the place where we were to land to meet the Turks. Our company was on board the destroyer ’Colne’ which steamed away in the direction of the Dardanelles. We were fairly crowded on the upper deck but were quite comfortable, and at 3am Sunday morning hot cocoa was served out all round ’Colne’..’ 

9th Battalion Officers on embarkation in October 1914. Subaltern Dougall on far right kneeling

Among those who were aboard the Colne were Captains Jackson and Dougall of the 9th Battalion. Captain Jackson was 37 yet had seen no prior service compared to Dougall, a veteran of the Veldt. The men were transferred to smaller boats where they were to be rowed ashore; the landings were underway. A man from C Company [George Robey DCM]  described the landings as this.
'The Turks opened a murderous fire on us. We were 200 yards from the beach, when the boats began to fill up because of the holes made by the bullets. Naturally they hit the bottom a long way from shore, and we had to tumble out up to our necks. We were being bowled over all the time. The noise and confusion were indescribable. Our orders were, 'Not a shot is to be fired.'’ It is common knowledge that a certain Lieutenant Duncan Chapman’s boat of 9th Battalion diggers landed first, however many following the landings a news article from December 1933 made mention of Dougall, who contested this.. "Some years ago a very good pal,..(John) Dougall, of the 9th, and I had a discussion on this same question. He also was in the first crowd to hit the bench. He said that in his opinion boats of the 12th Battalion, manned by superior oarsmen, beat his men easily to the finishing line— the beach."

Photo from April 25 1915 from atop Plugge Plateau near Ari Burnu, roughly around where Dougall landed

‘D’ Company, 9th Battalion under Captain Isaac Jackson landed sometime around 4:30am at ‘Little Ari Burnu’, the southern tip of ANZAC Cove with their Brigade Commander, Colonel Sinclair-MacLagan in their tow. Their objective was to reach Gaba Tepe to the south some 2km to the south [approx 1.5 miles] with the aim to silence an Ottoman Artillery Battery. Quoting from the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18 by C.E.W Bean;
‘Jackson’s company, which landed at Little Ari Burnu, had the duty of reaching Gaba Tepe, and on landing it strove to carry out its instructions by charging over Little Ari Burnu and bearing southwards. A desultory rifle fire was coming from the slopes ahead of it. As the company moved down the back of Little Ari Burnu into the valley, it found a small stone hut, in which were half a dozen Turks and a small fire with a pot of coffee upon it. The Turks were bayoneted.’

After the bayonetting of Turks in the hut the men piled out and prepared to advance, however a stray shot hits Captain Jackson who hands over command to Captain Dougall who at 4:57am assumes command of ‘D’ Company. It is worth mentioning that their Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel Harry Lee was supposed to be commanding them like his counterpart Weir with the 10th Battalion, however Lee was allegedly ‘frozen’ with what is now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He had been a career officer and was 47 by time of the landings, yet this was the first war he had gone to. Upon his gracious landing amongst the night as dawn broke he just couldn’t face up to it. According to one source, he was found by Major General Bridges who admonished him on the spot; the then Lieutenant Colonel Charles Rosenthal recorded in his diary that Lee was in ‘a terrible state’ and hysterical. Either way, Dougall’s Battalion Commander was out of the fight, effectively leaving the Major(s) in command. The company under Captain Dougall went up the slopes of the 400 Plateau a few hundred yards away, south of the valley, where it joined Milne’s ‘C’ Company and began consolidating.
*Milne landed some 300 yards to the south of Dougall with Beagle and ‘C’ Coy 12th Battalion

Photograph taken atop Bolton's Ridge looking towards Gaba Tepe; April 26 1915

At around 6:30am, Captain Dougall atop 400 Plateau began advancing towards Bolton’s Ridge yelling to his men ‘Come on boys!’ with a bayonet affixed on his Lee Enfield; However as he rushed onto Bolton’s Ridge he was met with the sight of the Ottoman 27th Regiment under Mehmed Sefik. He noted that the Ottomans were amassed on the Third Ridge [otherwise ‘Gun Ridge’] and were moving along the ridgeline until they reached a point around Scrubby Knoll where they deployed themselves in a position facing towards 400 Plateau. Captain Dougall, realizing the severity of the situation, fell back in good order to 400 Plateau with his men, reconsolidating with Major Salisbury. This crucial information was relayed either personally or by another soldier to Colonel MacLagan, the Brigade Commander who when observing the Ottomans for himself determined that there were around 2000-3000 Turks moving along the ridge. This rough estimate is backed up by other officers from other elements scattered along Plateau 400. It wasn’t helping that casualties were piling up quickly. Lieutenant Colonel Clarke commanding the 12th Battalion was killed trying to rally his men at Russells Top as was his Batman. The 10th Battalion was being cut to ribbons as they tried to advance to the heights whilst a couple of the battalion scouts (Privates Robin and Blackburn) managed to penetrate to the third ridge. The 11th had a similar story to tell, however the story for all the Battalions stayed the same - they were disorganized, stragglers all around the scrub and cohesion was breaking. Despite this disorganization, the 2nd Brigade started to disembark at around 6am as part of the second wave.

At around 8:30am, Captain Dougall was apparently on Harris Ridge, to the far south of Lone Pine. He saw Australians along Plateau 400 and decided that it would be wiser to rejoin them. At around 8:40am, Captain Dougall and Captain Milne who had a strength of approximately a Company [‘C’ and ‘D’ Nucleus] on the highground on Bolton’s Ridge began advancing towards Lone Pine, facing resistance all the while from an Ottoman Platoon.
*The wounded Captain J.A Milne was later given a battalion command, killed in action whilst leading the 36th Battalion on April 12th, 1918 after a DSO and Mention in Despatches had been conferred upon him. With his death, the battalion died with him (The 36th Batt disbanding later that month to be broken up for reinforcements.)

Much past 8:30am concerning Dougall is unknown; I do not have access to the 9th Battalion book therefore I am unsure of anything further that may be noted in the book. Various sources run dry from there, however the 1st Brigade began disembarking on Gallipoli at around 9am, and the line was reinforced. By nightfall on the First Day, the beachhead was a shambles. The 9th Battalion was kept in the line until April 28th when it was pulled to the Cove to have a rest. By April 30th, Captain Dougall was 1 of 9 officers still standing firm with the 9th, alongside 280 other ranks - a near complete decimation. The time between April 25th and April 30th had seen them fight off counter attacks by the Ottomans who were attempting to dislodge the invasion force. On May 1st, a count read 25 Killed, 229 wounded and 24 missing from the 9th Battalion alone. The frontline was ferocious with shells dropping by the ton for the whole month of May, breaking many a man. Their only respite was during the truce to bury the dead on May 24th. On May 20th, Captain Dougall led a party of 100 up to Quinn's Post to act as support and fill gaps, along with Lieutenant Ross. The Battalion took a roll call on June 5th to see the casualties from April 25th to present. It read 84 killed, 373 wounded, 79 missing with a fighting strength of 19 officers and 862 men. On June 12th at 7pm, Captain Dougall left the Battalion sick with debility to a Field Ambulance. Evacuated on the hospital ship Galeka, he was back at ANZAC Cove on July 12th. When he returned, the Turks attacked shortly afterwards. On July 19th, Lieutenant Colonel Lee returned to the Battalion, however 2 days later he was sick again. Into August the shelling became heavier and heavier for the 9th Battalion. From August 6th to 9th, the Battalion fought off attack after attack from the Turkish who were repelling landings to the North and attacks towards ANZAC.

Captain Dougall, Lieutenant Wilder-Neligan, Captain Bowman and Captain [Adjutant] Plant; c.May 1915

On August 25th, Captain Dougall reported to the 1st Field Ambulance with Enteric Fever. He was moved to Mudros that same day then onto Lemnos the following day with Debility. After a stint there, he was back on ANZAC by September 20th and appointed to command ‘D’ Company. On October 27th, Dougall was again sick and evacuated to Malta. This was the last time he would be on Gallipoli as this unknown sickness kept him off the peninsula for the rest of the campaign. By December 1915, he was deemed ‘Fit for Active Service’ and was sent to rejoin his unit. After 1 month away in hospital, Captain Dougall rejoined the 9th Battalion at Tel-El-Kebir on January 7th, 1916 (per W/D; his dossier states Jan 9th). 

Captain Dougall, Christmas 1915

During January 1916, the Battalion was retraining to fight in France and sprucing up on marksmanship, physical form, etc. On January 26th, the Battalion was moved to Serapeum some 40km away to the East. By the end of the month, the Battalion had marched off onto a new location, Gebel Habeita. Some 20 years later, a man from the 11th Battalion described the march to Habeita ‘It was a gruelling(sic) march, but this was a fine body of men in good condition..’. On February 20th 1916, Captain Dougall took off all his pips to fit a crown on each shoulder - his promotion to Major and Battalion Second-in-Command was to replace Major Milne who had been invalided a month ago on January 3rd. These responsibilities were too numerous for Major Dougall despite his prior regular service, and this began to weigh him down; it is listed that the same day he was promoted he was sent to hospital with mumps.. As a result of doubling the Australian Imperial Force in Egypt, the 9th Battalion produced pups and gave the 49th Battalion. A mix of personnel from the 9th would be moved over the newly formed 49th and Major Dougall was among them, retaining the position of Battalion Second-in-Command. His transfer is listed to have taken place on February 25th at Habeita despite himself still being in hospital until the following day.

In March 1916, the ANZAC Corps requested the names of officers ‘whose character renders them unsuitable for employment in command of men.’ From the 2nd Division, two names popped up - Majors J.M Dougall of the 49th and H.A MacPherson of the 52nd. The Brigadier commanding their brigade stated that they lacked ‘aptitude for leadership and command’ and a ‘sufficiently strong character to inspire their officers and coordinate the work of all ranks under their command’. Major Dougall retained the role of Battalion Second-in-Command whilst the Battalion was still training in Egypt, however as the embarkation to France loomed closer he was sought a rear-echelon or desk-wallah job. On May 12th, Major Dougall was transferred to a more suitable command; the 13th Training Battalion which was to be sent to England on Salisbury Plains shortly afterwards. There is no record dating to when Dougall arrived in England, nor is there an existing war diary for Dougall’s tenure, however he stayed in command until December 1916 when his secondment had been completed. There is a surviving picture of Dougall and his staff at 13th Training Battalion, shown below.

Major Dougall, surrounded by members of the 13th Training Battalion; c. September 1916

Major Dougall arrived in France from England on December 13th, arriving at Etaples that same day. He was to join the 49th Battalion in the field, which he did on December 21st. On January 28th, Dougall was assigned to the position of Town Major in the town of Becourt, a rather comfy ‘behind the lines’ position and about 20km from the English Channel. Not much can be said of his tenure as Town Major, however casualties did come through Becourt on occasion, else it was smooth sailing. He retained the position of Town Major until May 23rd when he was returned to the 49th Battalion in the field


‘Enter the troubles’

On May 6th, 1917 John’s brother Norman Dougall, a Platoon Commander in the 10th Battalion fell at Bullecourt. This had a negative impact on Major Dougall in many ways. It was still no comfort when Norman’s Military Cross was gazetted in June for actions in April 1917. Whilst still serving as Town Major at Becourt, he and his brother made the journey to his grave at Vaulx Australian Field Ambulance Cemetery.

Captain 'James Davidson' [alias Andrew Dougall] and Town Major John Dougall, standing beside the grave of their brother.

It is worth noting that the other brother (pictured left) served under the alias James Davidson as opposed to his real name Andrew. Lieutenant Davidson had been a First Day lander on Gallipoli where he was twice wounded. Commissioned in the field in France, he was twice recommended for a Military Cross. His MC was gazetted for actions across 1918 as the Quartermaster for the 10th Battalion.

On June 14th, Brigadier-General Glasgow (The Brigade Commander) wrote a memorandum in reference to 2 Battalion seconds-in-command under his command.. Part of it reads.. 

‘In the recent fighting, this Brigade has lost two Battalion Commanders, and now that thDougall7.png.0204a318c2f6dfb4cfcb24975f39d20e.pnge reorganization has begun one is faced with the problem of finding suitable men to take their place’

‘I very much regret that the seconds in command of the 49th and 52nd Battalions are not suitable for a higher command. I have not been able to trust them to take the battalion into action. This means that an enormous strain is (p)laced on the commanding officer, and it is unfair to the young capable officers that these (officers) should be allowed to hold the position without taking the responsibility and risk that battle thrusts on us all.’

‘I cannot give a definitive instance of these Officers inefficiency, it is rather what they do not do that gives the trouble. I now say however that I have absolutely no confidence in them, that I do not think they have the aptitude for leadership and command nor are of sufficiently strong character to inspire their officers and coordinate the more of all ranks under their command’

‘I therefore strongly recommend that these officers services be utilized in some sphere where each a high standard efficiency is not necessary, or that their services dispensed altogether’

‘The Officers concerned are :-
Major J.M. DOUGALL, 49th Battn.
*Major H.A McPHERSON, 52nd Battn.’

‘Signed, T.W Glasgow, Brig.General
G.O.C 13th Australian Inf. Brigade’

*McPherson committed suicide by a gunshot wounded inflicted by his service revolver whilst returning to Australia in December 1918

Further communications to the Divisional Commander revealed 2 other incompetent officers in their midst in a report dated June 23rd, 1917 by the Major General commanding the 4th Division. The other officers were Major Edward Twynam of the 13th Battalion and Major Fethers (unconfirmed). ‘Under the circumstances, I now recommend that they be removed from their present positions, and in the event of no suitable employments being available elsewhere, that they be Returned to Australia’

Dougall and MacPherson counted their lucky stars; they were returned to their original battalions, the 9th and 12th Battalions respectively despite their inefficiency. Both became senior Company Commanders upon their arrival at their battalions. Major Dougall’s transfer came through on July 7th, and he was taken onto strength of the 9th Battalion on July 15th, assuming command of ‘B’ Company. His fellow officers consisted of Major Claude Ross MC (original ANZAC, later Battn Cmdr), Captain Frank Page MC MM (original ANZAC, from the ranks), Lieutenant Thomas Goward (1915er, from the ranks) to name a few. Suffice to say, he had able officers under his command to assist him.

Major Dougall, second row from front, fourth from right; 1917

Major Dougall’s stint with the 9th Battalion in July 1917 was relatively uneventful - General Birdwood visited the camp and presented medal ribbons amongst other things, otherwise it was relatively calm. Strangely enough, there was no mention of Dougall anywhere in July, August nor September War Diary. However on September 20th, 1917, the 9th Battalion was involved in the operations at Polygon Wood, this also meant that Major Dougall was involved - he finished his involvement wounded according to records. He was taken back onto the strength of the Battalion on October 14th, however enquiries were made into what happened at Polygon Wood, as it soon became apparent that Major Dougall became separated from his men. Below is a letter, detailing everything. It was written by Major Dougall in October 1917.


I wrote to the C.O of the battalion as stated. I respectfully state that I halted the coy in the dark and noticing that they were not all there, and told the leading platoon to go on whilst I saw what had become of the balance. I waited some time and saw them coming on then I hurried after the rest. I then walked on and in the dark mistook the way and wandered into the place occupied by British troops. I then went across in the direction of Merrin Road and saw Lieutenant Carson with a portion of this platoon gathering stores as we were the carrying coy. This was just after zero (hour). I then proceeded to Brigade Headquarters and stated that I have separated from my company and was directed verbally the road to take. I went on and met Second Lieutenant Warner and walked on then I met Captain Carrol we proceed onwards and coming to Clapham Junction tunnel I said to him, you have a slight wound, go in here and get it fixed up and we have time as we are not moving forwards till the barrage on the 2nd objective lifts. He was dazed and took no notice of me and I proceeded through the tunnel in the direction I thought the Battalion was in. I proceeded along to what I imagined to be Jargon Trench. I was proceeding along and the barrage was very heavy and I halted to see best how I would get through it. There were other men in the vicinity. Suddenly the bunk behind which I stopped for a few minutes to see best to get on was blown in on top of me and I was covered partially with earth and a beam struck me in the head. 2 men lifted me out and helped me towards the Clapham Junction tunnel and I do not remember much more for a few hours after this. I asked on orderly for some brandy and he said go (to) the next dressing station. I was still dazed and nervous and felt thoroughly don(e). I asked the M.O could I get some brandy and rest for a couple of hours. They gave me some pills and then an M.O said you go back to the Regimental (Dressing) Station or A.D.S and get 48 hours rest you will get plenty of straffing(sic) yet. I went to Headquarters and the M.O there evacuated me to the Canadian C.C.S who sent me to Boulogne Hospital from where I was discharged marked ‘B’ Class to the ?? and from thence I came on thinking I ought to get through. I by no means feel fit yet and still nervy and depressed. I have been nerving continuously since August 20th, 1914 including the Landing at ANZAC. I suffer very much at the time from Rheumatism or Rheumatoid Arthritis. My health has never been good since I joined and I only feel equal to a training job or total discharge and I feel that how I did not be much use till I got at least 2 months away ?? (frac?) of military service and could get treated privately at my own expense, besides I have private troubles which worry me at the time which does not leave me in a proper state of mind. I may state that on the morning of the 20th instant  I met two men of the company who were wounded and asked them where the coy was and one of them said the order to scatter retire had been given by an officer. This order was not given by me and the fact could be ascertained from Second Lieutenant Warner and others in the company including the guide, Private Llewyllen. As I have previously told the G.O.C what happened and that I do not feel fit. I can offer no objection to his request that I be returned (to Australia). I am satisfied in my own mind that what I have said is correct, but I again say that I do not feel fit, but nervous and depressed. I have suffered since from headaches and since my brother was killed at Bullecourt I have also felt very depressed and out of sorts and the adverse report of the G.O.C, 13th Brigade which I feel was unjust has worried me into a poor frame of mind that I ought not to be in, in order to be an efficient leader.

Signed, J.M Dougall’
**Captain ‘Cec’ Carrol was later an MC and Commissioner of the Queensland Police

A report written alongside Major Dougall’s report has a sentence reading ‘his men have no confidence in him, therefore I recommend that he be returned to Australian; signed Brigadier General Bennett 13th Brigade’. By the end of October 1917, Major Dougall’s military career was finished. He reported to AIF Headquarters on Horseferry Roads in London on November 21st, and was given orders to Return to Australia. Major Dougall embarked from England on December 21st, 1917 for Return to Australia. After a voyage of nearly 2 months, Major Dougall disembarked at 3rd Military District on February 12th, 1918 after nearly 3 and a half years abroad in the service. On March 1st, 1918 Major John Dougall’s appointment as an Officer in the First Australian Imperial Forces was terminated after 3 and a half years in the service. 

After discharge, John Dougall found work as a shipping agent/clerk. John took a trip to New York in 1923 for a short vacation. Mr Dougall was transferred to the Reserve of Officers on October 10th, 1924. Major John Mitchell Dougall, an ‘Original’ of ANZAC Cove was found dead in his bed on April 27th, 1926 in South Melbourne, just 2 days after ANZAC Day- a day that commemorated the actions of the men amongst him on April 25th, 1915. At the time he had been on a holiday. A post mortem assessment states that he died of a hemorrhage caused by a clot of blood in the brain. He left behind a wife and a daughter



Edited by tankengine888


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Well Done.

A fine piece of research and write up for a young man of your age.


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Lots of thanks Steve.. this one has been in the melting pot for a few weeks. Plenty of adventure in his life, as well as plenty of photographs!


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Posted (edited)


A nice write-up of John M. Dougall’s service life.

He wasn’t the first man to be promoted above his abilities; it seems a pity that there was no further place for him in a training role.




Edited by JMB1943
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Cheers JMB. I discovered him in a look at Gallipoli landings. He clearly had a somewhat pivotal involvement on the first day with reports to the Brigade Commander, however he just couldn't cope - even himself admitted it in 1917. One of the next ones in the melting pot is a Captain blown up by a shell if all goes well..


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