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Index of first names

Rev James Douglas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 In 1942 a former curate, of Magheralin Parish, the Rev. James Douglas, joined the Forces as a Padre. Sadly, he was killed during the battle for Mont Pincon(1), on August 5 1944, following the Normandy landings, and was later mentioned in dispatches, having been in the front line with his men.

Mr. Douglas was appointed curate of Magheralin in August 1933 and remained there for five years before moving to Colebrook as Rector in February, 1938 and later joining the army as a padre. The resilient and complete faith in God which had characterised Mr. Douglas' ministry in Magheralin was the gift he took with him to the field of battle. That he was able to share God's saving grace with so many young men, and urge them to place their trust in God was indeed a special calling for Mr. Douglas. He felt honoured that God had called him to do this business and he answered that call faithfully to the end. A Padre leading his men in prayer in the fleeting minutes before battle is a sobering moment.

The Rev. James Douglas was born in Waterford and educated in Wesley College and Trinity College, Dublin. When he first came to Magheralin, he lodged at first in the `Wilderness' with the Gilpin family(2). Later in 1935 he married and moved to the curate's house at no. 19 Avenue Road. This was formerly a Police Barracks and retained a cell in the basement! One night, Mrs. Douglas was startled to hear banging on the door. Upon opening it, she discovered that a man, pursued by a crowd for some misdemeanour was seeking police protection! Mrs. Douglas played the organ in Dollingstown for some time.

Today, half a century later, (circa 1991) Mr. Douglas is survived by three children and his wife. One daughter lives in Helen's Bay, while his son is the well-known Dr. James Douglas, often referred to as `the kidney man' at Belfast City Hospital. Mr. Douglas' eldest daughter Anne, now lives in the area and is a parishioner of the church where her father once served. A teacher, she married Dr. W. Miller, who is a local GP. Mrs. Douglas, although frail and unable to attend the church where she has so many happy memories, is still a frequent visitor to the area.

 

 

Note:
1, Some historians claim that the battle of the XXX Corps on Mont Pinçon was one of the hardest of the whole campaign in Normandy. The moral of the 7th Armoured Division was very low as in the previous operation Goodwood the unit had suffered heavy losses and had little time to regroup. Despite this, the division began on the morning of August 6, to advance from Villers-Bocage until Aunay-sur-Odon. The division advanced through the pines and chestnut trees at the foot of the mountain, 1100 meters high. In the night between 6 and 7 August, the British conquered the woods less than 2 km from La Vallée (crossroads between Auney and Caen, and between Villers-Bocage and Conde) directed towards Les Trois Maries, on the plain behind the woods of Mont Pinçon. The top of the mountain was very well defended and the British were able to reach only with the help of artillery. On August 7, the armored squadrons of the Royal Guard and advanced toward Les Grands Bonfaits The Busq. The 2nd Squadron of the 2nd Armored Battalion Irish Guards stood on the nearby ridge when he was attacked by three German Panzer IV and artillery that forced the British to abandon their positions. Always August 7 wagons of the 7th Armoured Division and infantry Division “Wessex” reached the top of the mountain. At 12:00, however, already some 14 tanks and other vehicles were destroyed. Only after August 9 Aunay between the crest and La Vallée was completely in Allied hands.

2.  Anthony Capper Gilpin married Eirene Claire Douglas, daughter of Sinton Douglas and Anne Elizabeth Chapman. They may, or may not, be of the same family. Anthony worked for the United nations, probably in Geneva.

 

 

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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017