Sholto James Archibald Douglas

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Sholto James Archibald Douglas (1918-1942) was born in Tientsin, North China on August 6th, 1918, the younger son of Robert Hinde Douglas and Sarah Jane Raynolds. He had a brother, Gawain Douglas, and a sister, Margaret Isobel.

Sholto's formative years were spent in Guernsey, where he attended Elizabeth College from 1928 to 1936. He was a talented athlete, excelling in boxing, winning the Lightweight title in 1928 and the Welterweight title in 1935. He was also a dedicated member of the school's gym team and shooting team, even contributing to the school's victory in the Ashburton competition in 1936.

Beyond the boxing ring and shooting range, Sholto was a champion swimmer. He won the Miss O.E. Randall Cup in 1932 and went on to become the Junior Champion in 1933 and Senior Champion from 1934 to 1936. He dominated the Harbour Race for three consecutive years (1934-1936), with an impressive time of 8 minutes and 10 seconds in 1936. His passion for lifesaving was evident through his achievements: earning the Langlois Life Saving Cup (1933-1936), the RLSS Bronze Medallion (1933), and progressively higher instructor certifications, culminating in a First Class Instructor's Certificate in 1935 and a Silver Medallion in 1936.

Sholto's academic pursuits are not documented, but his athletic and lifesaving accomplishments paint a vivid picture of a young man dedicated to self-improvement and service to others. In 1936, he began working at the National Provincial Bank in Guernsey. That same year, he further cemented his place in local sporting history by breaking swimming records at both the Guernsey Amateur Swimming Club and the Castel Cornet Race.

Sholto's promising future was tragically altered by the outbreak of World War II. He joined the Gordon Highlanders, a distinguished Scottish regiment. On March 26th, 1942, Sholto mysteriously disappeared while serving. Seven years later, in 1949, his death was presumed by law.

The details surrounding Sholto's disappearance remain unclear. The source text mentions the 1st Battalion serving in France and the 2nd Battalion stationed in Malaya and Singapore. The fall of Singapore in February of 1942 to Japanese forces suggests that Sholto may have been part of the contingent stationed in Southeast Asia.

1.  His epitaph appears on the headstone of his parents’ grave in St. Martin's Cemetery, Guernsey "Ex Gordon Highlanders Missing World War 2, 6th Aug 1918 - 26th March 1942". His brother's name is also recorded. This is Sholto's only Memorial. The headstone is topped with a Douglas crest.

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



Sources for this article include:
  • Elizabeth College, Guernsey

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    Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024