Sgt John Douglas

 

Sgt John Douglas
Sergeant John Douglas, 3rd Battalion, The Royal Scots.  From a photograph owned by the family
Ancestral House, Lurgan
A house in Lurgan connected with his family.  An inscription in a family member's writing on the back - taken in 1873.
John Douglas' medals
Left: MGS Medal; Right: Waterloo medal
John Douglas was born in Lurgan, Ireland, in about 1781-9.  He was born into a modest branch of the aristocratic Douglas family.  Though they had sufficient funds to give him a good education and put him through his apprenticeship, he served as a soldier in the Royal Scots.

 On his enlistment he was described as a 'weaver', and on some of his children's marriage certificates as gentleman,cabinetmaker and civil servant.

He wrote his memoirs of his experiences as a soldier in the Royal Scots from 1809-1817. The book provides a narrative of the Peninsular Campaign, with a descriptions of Quatre Bras, and the Battle of Waterloo.

His Waterloo Medal and Military General Service Medal bearing clasps for Busaco, Fuentes De onoro, Salamaca, Vittoria, San Sebastion, Nivelle and Nive, are held in the South African Museum of Military History in Johannesburg.  His medals are inscribed with his name and the rank of Corporal, so it seems likely that he was promoted to Sergeant after Waterloo.

After he left the army, he was employed at the Royal Hibernian Military School for some years, from at least 1826 when the second of his sons to survive to adulthood was born there. (Incidentally this son fought in the Indian Mutiny and was at the relief of Lucknow). The RHMS was an institution for the children of soldiers serving abroad, and most of his other children were also born there.

His date of death is not known, but he was alive in 1848.

His son John George also had quite an interesting army career. James Gardiner Douglas went to England. Robert Henry stayed in Ireland, one of his children went to NZ. John George, after serving in India during the rebellion went back to Ireland. Of the rest all stayed in Ireland, except Mary Dorcas who married and went to Canada, and perhaps Ann Jane who may have gone to England. William Frederick's son went to Australia then South Africa.

The last surviving (2017) Douglas male descendant lives in South Africa.

Note:
1. The photograph of Sgt John is causing some problems.  As a sergeant, he would not normally carry a sword; the uniform is not that of the Royal Scots, and the shako has a bugle, not the badge of RHMS. When did he gain a third medal?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This page was last updated on 14 June 2017

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