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Major-General Sir William Douglas


jon_armstrong

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Can anyone point me to where I might be about to find more about Major-General Sir William Douglas? Ideally I'm looking for a biographical outline I can then expand upon - an obituary would probably be ideal, but I haven't been able to find one so far.

His pretty common name (and having a forename for a surname) has made searches of The Times and London Gazette quite unproductive, unfortunately, with way too many results that aren't him.

This is more or less what I know so far...

  • Unconfirmed source that he was born in 1858 and died 1920 - although can't find an obituary in 1920 newspapers to support this
  • Given command of 42nd East Lancashire Division in 1913
  • In 1914 had a house at Oak Brow, Styal, Cheshire
  • Went to Egypt and then Gallipoli with the 42nd division
  • Was invalided out in 1915, but came back and commanded for most of 1916
  • Left the division again in 1917 - to go where I have no idea
  • Was knighted in 1917

I'm particularly interested in finding a little of what he did before the war, and what happened to him after 1917. Any starters or suggestions most welcome. Thanks.

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Jon

Major-General Sir William Douglas, K.C.M.G., C.B., D.S.O.

There is a large entry for him in "The Distinguished Service Order 1886-1923" by O'Moore Creagh and Humphris including details of service from 1878, through South African Service (where he was awarded the DSO) and Great War Service.

I'm happy to email you a copy if it would be of interest.

Regards

Pam

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Jon

A large library [certainly Manchester Central] should have sets of 'Who was Who' - published every 10 years since the 1920s with final entries for those who perished during the decade. This would give a summary of military appointments, decorations and awards, & probably dates of birth, marriage, death etc.

Daggers

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Pam > It would definitely be of interest! If you could email me a copy that would be great, thanks.

Daggers > Thanks for the suggestion - will definitely follow it up. Hopefully he didn't die until 1920 at the earliest so would get in to the 20s edition.

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  • 5 years later...

Jon, accordng to the 42nd Divn history by FP Gibbon, he left the 42nd Division on arrival in France in 1917 to return to England to give evidence to the Royal Commission investigating the Gallipoli campaign.

Paul

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Hi Paul.

Thanks for that - every extra piece of information helps!

Does the divisional history mention anything about his being injured in Sinai?

In the thread below I was asking for details of this as his family indicated in the notice of his death in The Times this was the eventual cause of his death, meaning either they were wrong or he is a high-ranking non-commemoration.

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=175113&st=0&p=1703121entry1703121

Thanks

Jon

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I've had a quick browse through Jon, but cannot find any reference to his being injured....I am actually trying to research someone who was an ADC to him from 1916 so will be reading more thoroughly in the near future and will make some notes for you as I go along. I have got a copy of some of the 42nd War Diary for HQ and will take a look at that too. In the meantime I found this webpage which has some brief details of his military career and a photograph which may be of use

http://www.douglashistory.co.uk/history/williamdouglas.htm

Paul

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