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Lt-Commander James Sholto Douglas






November 1914

Lieut Douglas appears to have had an exciting time with the Naval Brigade in Antwerp, where he was in command of a machine-gun section. He made the personal acquaintance of the now famous trenches and was apparently one of the last to leave the city, "dodging shells and falling houses" in the progress through it. But for his resourcefulness, which enabled him to reach Ostend in safety, he would probably now be interned in Holland instead of being luminously housed at the Crystal Palace.


Source: Badsey Parish Magazine for 1914 - with kind permission

January 1917

It is with very deep regret that we chronicle the death of Lt-Commander James Sholto Douglas, late of Badsey Manor House, at the comparatively early age of 27. As our readers will remember, he volunteered for service with the Navy immediately on the outbreak of war, and was gazetted Lieutenant in the RNVR after an interview with the First Lord of the Admiralty. He went to Antwerp in command of a machine-gun section, and only escaped internment by his courage and resourcefulness. When we last referred to him in these columns he was stationed with the Naval Brigade at the Crystal Palace. He was subsequently attached to the RNAS as armament officer and was for some time at Dunquerque, taking up an appointment as Lieut-Commander near Aberdeen in October last. In November he began to suffer very much from very severe headaches and was sent home to Chester. He rapidly became much worse; and was unconscious almost continuously to the time of his death. A few days before his death he had very slight conscious intervals; he recognised his mother and asked for one of his brothers, and on one occasion felt for his crucifix under his pillow and looked at it. He passed away on Monday morning, Dec 18th, and on Tuesday his body was taken into the Lady Chapel of Chester Cathedral where it remained until the funeral on Wednesday. There was a Requiem on Wednesday morning, a watch having been kept all Tuesday night by relations and friends.

The following tribute from his brother seems to describe the man just as we knew him.

I thank Thee, God, for his life here,
For all his graces, all his ways so dear.
Ready of repartee,
Soul of all company,
Bright with the love of men because of God;
Strong in the love of God for other men.
The Sacramental way on earth he trod,
And now his earthly body’s dead – well, then,
I praise and thank Thee, still, O God.


Source: Badsey Parish Magazine for 1917 - with kind permission







Sources for this article include:

•  Badsey Parish Magazine


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Last modified: Wednesday, 18 July 2018