Joseph Douglass

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Joseph was born at Blaydon the son of William and Helen Douglass. In 1891 his father’s occupation was blacksmith but by 1901 this had changed to publican. Joseph attested to the army at Newcastle upon Tyne on 14 June 1915 giving his address as The Oaks, Blaydon and his occupation as telegraphist. He worked at 18 Eldon Square, Newcastle upon Tyne and the manager of the company Norman Hall attested to his good character. He served with the Northumbrian Division territorial Force, service No: T2584, Corps of Royal Engineers, service No: 463227. Surviving records confirm that he was 5’8 1/2” tall with a 36” chest. He was posted abroad on 18 June 1916.


He had been sent to a signals training unit in Bedfordshire and having passed his final exam was granted leave. On his way home before rejoining his Battalion he stayed with friends Mr. Couling and family of Cambridge Road, Sandy, Bedfordshire. It was here that he was seized with illness and the Doctor was called and forbade him to move. He died of influenza and pneumonia on 8 July 1918 age 22 years. The Doctor testified that Joseph has been partially, but severely gassed and this had made him susceptible to pneumonia. His death was reported to the Royal Engineers Corps, Biggleswade and Joseph was buried at Blaydon Cemetery grave ref: D.C.66.


His next of kin were his sister Jane Douglass of 12 Summerhill, Blaydon and his brother Nicholas who farmed at Park Head Farm, Winlaton. Probate was granted to his sister Jane Douglass on 6 July 1920 and his memorial scroll was sent to her on 6 September 1923 by which time she was living at Beda Lodge, Rowlands Gill.


Awarded the British War and Victory Medals, locally Joseph is remembered on the Blaydon War Memorial and on the plaque at St. Cuthbert’s Church, Blaydon.





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Sources for this article include:
  • The Blaydon and Winlaton War Memorial Project


  • Any contributions will be gratefully accepted






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    Last modified: Thursday, 16 January 2020