Alexander Sholto Douglas

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Captain Alexander Sholto Douglas (23 January, 1884 – 7 July, 1934) was an officer in the Royal Navy.

Douglas was born in Portsmouth the son of Staff Captain A. G. Douglas, Royal Navy. He gained two months' time on passing out of Britannia in September 1900 and was rated a Midshipman without examination on 15 November, 1900. His first naval appointment was to Diadem in the Channel Squadron, lasting until the end of May 1901.

Douglas obtained a second-class certificate in gunnery in January, 1905 and one in Torpedoes the following month. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 June, 1906. His first ship command was to prove extensive: he was appointed Lieutenant in Command of T.B. 110 in August 1906 and remain over three years. He was appointed to the first class protected cruiser Powerful on the Australian station in 1909. Described as "strictly temperate, intelligent & zealous", Douglas was recommended by Captain Bruen in January, 1912. In mid-April, he was appointed as first officer in Pathfinder. After four months, he was sent to the pre-dreadnought Duncan of the Fourth Battle Squadron.

On 7 November 1913 he was appointed to Diamond as first and gunnery officer. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Commander on 30 June, 1914 and was still in Diamond when the war broke out.

On 20 February, 1916 he was ordered to report to the Admiralty and on 5 March it was decided that he would go and oversee completion of the new "M" Class destroyer Nepean, to assume command upon her commissioning. He almost immediately exchanged command of the new ship with Geoffrey Mackworth, taking command of Mackworth's Acheron Class destroyer Ferret. His time here extended to November, 1916 and it was planned that he would help complete and commission Sable, but this was altered to Rival, dated 5 November.

Douglas completed a Torpedo Control course at H.M.S. Vernon on 23 February, 1917.

Douglas commanded Rival until 15 May, 1918. On the 19th, he commenced a short period in temporary command of Osiris, whose captain Charles Maurice Blackman was battling the flu. This work done, Douglas was appointed in command of the destroyer Woolston on 8 June, 1918 and was promoted to the rank of Commander on 30 June, 1918.

After qualifying in a course at the Chatham Anti-Gas School in May 1920, Douglas spent two years in command of the destroyer Wryneck before being superseded in August 1922.

On 22 April, 1925 Douglas was appointed to the battleship H.M.S. Ajax as executive officer, vice Nicholson. He suffered a septic wound on his hand in late April to early May, 1926. At some point in 1926, possibly 30 May, he was appointed in command of Ajax until the end of November. He took some unpaid time, and in April 1927 undertook an appointment at Devonport as Drafting Commander, vice Shelley.

Douglas was placed on the Retired List at his own request with the rank of Captain on 2 March, 1930.

Douglas died at age 49 from pneumonia at Dunoon, Scotland, where he is buried.





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  • The Dreadnought Project


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    Last modified: Sunday, 02 June 2019