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Major-Gen. Sir William Douglas






Maj-Gen Sir William Douglas
Maj Gen Douglas up a tree
The War Illustrated, 4th Dec 1915
Ellen Lytcott
Ellen Lytcott (née Taylor), Lady Douglas 
Major-Gen. Sir William Douglas, K.C.M.G., C.B., D.S.O, was born at Cranborne Lodge, Dorset, 13 August 1858, son of William Douglas, of the East India Civil Service, a descendant of James Douglas, 5th of Tilquhillie, and of his wife, Caroline (nee Hare).

He was educated at Bath; was gazetted to the 1st Battalion The Royal Scots 30 January 1878, and was promoted to Lieutenant 25 November 1878, serving as Adjutant, 1st Battalion The Royal Scots, 24 March, 1880 to 23 March, 1887.

He served in the Bechuanaland Expedition, 1884-85; became Captain 24 June, 1885; was Adjutant, 3rd Royal Scots (Militia), February 1888 to February 1893; and Adjutant, 1st Royal Scots, 20 February 1893 to 20 August 1894.

He was promoted to Major 24 July 1895; was at the Staff College, 1896-97. He served in South Africa, 1900-02, and took part in the operations in the Orange Free State, February to May 1900. Operations in the Transvaal, east of Pretoria, July to 29 November 1900, including the actions at Belfast (26 and 27 August) and Lydenberg (5 to 8 September). He was in command of 1st Battalion Royal Scots from 24 August 1900, and in command of a column, and took part in the operations in the Transvaal (1), November 1900 to November 1901. He was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 16 April, 1901], received the Queen's Medal with three clasps, the King's Medal with two clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 19 April, 1901]: "William Douglas, Major (now Lieutenant Colonel), Royal Scots, Lothian Regiment In recognition of services during the recent operations in South Africa". The Insignia were presented to him in South Africa.

Major Douglas had been promoted to Lieutenant Colonel 5 December 1900. He was given the Brevet of Colonel 10 February 1904; became Colonel 1 March, 1906; was Colonel, General Staff, 6th Division, and subsequently became (when the name of the appointment was changed) GSO, 1st Grade, 8th Division (the 6th Division becoming the 8th Division), Irish Command, 1 March, 1906, to 31 October 1909.

He was created a CB in 1908; was Brigade Commander, 14th Infantry Brigade, 1 November 1909 to 9 November 1912; became Major General 10 August 1912; commanded the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division from May 1913, to 11 March, 1917.

He served in the European War from 1914; in Egypt, 10 September 1914 to 4 May 1915; the Dardanelles (3), 5 May 1915 to 2 January 1916 (Despatches twice [London Gazette, 21 September 1915 and November 1915]; created a KCMG November 1915); Sinai, 1916-17, including the Battle of Romani and taking of El Arish; commanded the Desert Column from 23 October 1916, to 8 December 1916 (Despatches twice, December 1916 and 6 July 1917; Croix de Guerre with Palm [London Gazette, 21 May 1917]); commanded the Western Reserve Centre in 1917 and 1918.

He married, in December 1885, Ellen Lytcott (a Lady of Grace of St John of Jerusalem (London Gazette of 5 Mar 1918)), daughter of Samuel Taylor, Crown Solicitor, Barbados.

He died on 2nd November 1920 in Kincardine, Fife, from injuries received in the Great War. He was interred at Banchory Devenick, Aberdeenshire.

Death of Mrs E Ashworth Bury Times 28th July 1915

Mrs Octavie Leonie Ashworth, wife of Capt. Edmund Ashworth of the ???? Bury Lancs Fus [T] died in Alexandria on Friday, the news being received in Bury by cablegram on Saturday. She was an accomplished linguist and in the early months of the war rendered valuable assistance in the reception of Belgian refugees in Bury, acting as interpreter on many occasions. Her husband proceeded to Egypt with the Territorials and she went later, and was engaged in nursing in the San Stefano Military Hospital. A number of members of the Bury Battalion came under her care. When the Lancashire Fusiliers were transferred to the Dardanelles Mrs Ashworth rendered assistance to Mrs Douglas (2), wife of Major General Douglas, in the organisation of a convalescent hospital for the use of the East Lancashire Territorial Division. She was engages in this work when she was taken ill. Mrs Ashworth was much esteemed by the Belgian people locally, and particularly those at Lower Hinds and in her letters home she often made inquiries concerning them. Captain Ashworth is a director of the firm of Messrs Adam Ashworth & Sons Fernhill Hat works and when the news was received in Bury on Saturday the workpeople held a meeting and passed a resolution expressing sympathy with the family. A cablegram has been sent to Capt. Ashworth informing him of his wife's death.

1. From the autumn of 1900 to the close of the war The 1st Battalion Royal Scots operated in the Eastern Transvaal, some portion generally doing garrison work and some companies trekking. During part of 1901 Colonel Douglas had command of a column which included 700 men of the Royal Scots. The column operated in the neighbourhood of the Delagoa line. On 16th May 1901 the Boers were found to be holding a strong position at Bermondsey which had to be taken. Their flanks were protected by precipices, but a company of the Royal Scots with great difficulty eventually got round the Boer right, and the position was then captured.
2.  Born Ellen Lytcott Taylor, daughter of Samuel Taylor, crown solicitor in Barbados, Lady Ellen Douglas appears to have been assisting in military hospitals in Gallipoli, and possibly elsewhere during the war. It seems that she was awarded a medal.  She was resident at Shanna Cottage, Blairs, Kincardineshire c1922 and was interred at Banchory Devenick, Aberdeenshire alongside her husband.
3.  The command of VIII Corps would devolve on to Lieut General Sir F J Davies, a general from France new to the Gallipoli scene, but as the attack was imminent Hamilton decided that Davies should not assume command till it was over. Davies did not take over command of VIII Corps until the 8th August.
During this haitus Major General Douglas, GOC 42 Div, was in temporary command of the Corps.
4.  One of William's siblings was General Charles.

Research note:
•   Sir William Douglas the son the late Mr. William Douglas. Lanadown House. Charlcombe, Somerset. He joined the Royal Soots 1878, served in Bcchuanaland (1884-5), South African War (190C-2), and was ...


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