Gawain Thomas Alexander Douglas DFC

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Gawain Thomas Alexander Douglas DFC
Recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Knight Chevalier of the Military and Hospitailer Order of St. Thomas Acon. Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries (Scotland). Life Governor of the Royal Home and Hospital for Incurables, London. Late of the British, Indian Army (Cavalry). Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Armoured Corps Special Reserve of Officers. Ex-Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force, 1941-1947. Aide-de-Camp to Lord Erskine of the Earldom of Mar. Governor of Madras, and Adjutant of the Governor's Mounted Bodyguard, 1938-1940

Lieutenant Colonel Gawain Thomas Alexander Douglas was born December 18, 1914 at Eagle House, Woodford Green, Essex, the son of Robert Hinde Douglas Sarah Jane daughter of William Raynolds of Ramsay, Essex, who had married in Shanghai, China, in July 1912.

His regiment was the famous polo-playing 15th Lancers before WWII, and he in 1938 found himself playing against U.S. top polo players, "Laddie" Sanford and Gerald Balding in the Prince of Wales tournament in Bombay.

This period of his early life as a subaltern was very exciting due to his participation in polo, tiger shooting, yacht racing, Himalayas climbing and qualifing as a pilot in his spare time. In 1941 he was transferred to the R.A.F. and flew as a fighter pilot for the rest of the war in the Middle East, Burma and Malaya. He flew mainly Hurricans, spitfires, P47 Thunderbolts and Tempests. After the excitement of the war, he found peacetime soldiering boring and poorly paid, so he resigned and went to work, mainly overseas, as an administrator in shipping and large hydro-electric projects. He retired in 1980 to a small polo ranch near Pakn Beach, Florida where he lived for 14 years.

He returned, in 1994, to Great Britain to be with his family.

Gavin (preferred spelling) [can] trace his ancestry through the Lairds of Drumlanrig, to the half-brother of "the Good" Sir James Douglas, 2nd Earl of Douglas and Mar who was killed at Otterburn in 1388--and through him supposedly to "Le Hardi" and "Long Leg".

He is one of the Douglases of Morton in Nithsdale, descended from the 7th Laird of Drumlanrig in 1520. In 1995 he matriculated his Arms, for his childrens' sake, in the Court of the Lord Lyon. His father matriculated his in 1930 although it is only necessary to do this every 3rd or 4th generation.

Gawain married
(1) Madras, India, 07/Nov/1940, Patricia Marie Turner daughter of Arthur Cleveland Turner M.B.E. Gawain and Patricia Douglas had two sons:
  1. Nigel Gawaine Robert Cleveland Douglas
  2. Charles James Michael Douglas
(2) Calcutta, India, 30/Dec/1955 Catherynne Anne Osbourne daughter of Reginald Arthur Osborne and had a daughter
  3. Jennifer Claire Aruna Douglas, born Warsak, Peshawar, North West Frontier, Pakistan 19/Mar/1957

1. It would seem from his Burma Star application that Gawain was a resident of Guernsey in 1988
2.  Gawain's brother, Sholto, disappeared in mysterious circumstances in 1942 in Southeast Asia.

See also:
•  Thomas Harigad Douglas, Sholto's grandfather for further details on the family



Sources for this article include:
  • Gawain Douglas
    •  Clan Douglas Association of Australia; Newsletter No: 73

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    Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024