Percy Cuthbert Douglass

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Flight-Commander Percy Cuthbert Douglass, R.N.A.S., was born at St. Mary's, Scilly Isles, on 28th September 1886.

He was educated at Marlborough College and under private tutors, and at the age of nineteen was articled to his father, the late Mr. W. T. Douglass,. of Westminster.

He received the practical side of his engineering education from 1906 to 1908 at the works of Messrs. Andrew Barclay and Co., Kilmarnock, the Steel Co. of Scotland, and Messrs. Simons and Co., Renfrew, after which he returned to assist his father in the preparation of plans, specifications, and inspections of lighthouse lanterns, apparatus, machinery, steel towers, gas buoys and gas-making plant.

In 1910 he was appointed assistant resident engineer for the Buckie Harbour Extension Works, which his father was building.

Two years later he returned to work in the London office, but was only there a few months before his father died. He then became head of the firm and carried on the work until shortly after the outbreak of the war. The chief work carried out by him in that year was in connexion with Buckie and other harbours in Banffshire, also the parade and marine drive at Exmouth, and his duties as engineer to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

In April 1915 he received a Commission as Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval .Division, but at the request of the Admiralty he shortly transferred to the Royal Naval Air Service for balloon work, with which he was well acquainted, owing to his pre-war experience in a Territorial Balloon Company. He went immediately to Gallipoli with a kite-balloon section, and during the campaign he was given command of the section and promoted to Lieutenant.

On his return to England in April 1916 he was lent temporarily to the Aerial Construction Corps and given command of a camp. Early in 1917 he again went to the Eastern Mediterranean, and when there transferred to the aeroplane branch of the service. In September he was promoted to Flight-Commander.

His death took place from an aeroplane accident on 10th December 1917, at the age of thirty-one. He was elected a Graduate of this Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1907, and an Associate Member in 1912.


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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017