Cosmo Alec Onslow Douglas

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Commander Cosmo Alec Onslow Douglas, R.N. (2 May 1884 – 3 March 1971) served in the Royal Navy.


Douglas was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on 30 June 1906 and Lt Commander on 30th June 1914.


He was Captain of H.M.S. Dwarf, 8 Oct, 1917.  H.M.S. Dwarf was one of four gunboats of the Bramble class completed for the Royal Navy about the turn of the century


He was appointed Land Tax Commissioner for the County of Southampton on 2 August 1927. (Requires verification)


On 2 September 1939, as a Captain (retired), he was appointed as His Majesty's Consul Aalesund (sic) (Alesund), in Norway.  Described as 'NCS', he was evacuated to Britain in about April - June 1940 during the Battle for Norway.


In The English Guernsey Cattle Society's Herd Book of 1954, he is shown has holding the DSO in 1938 and in 1945 when it appears he won prizes for his cattle.


He advertised for a 'hard working gardener' at Hazelby in 1961, 'for well-kept garden outskirts village. Experienced flowers, shrubs, fruit and vegetables. Small heated greenhouse. Very good three-bedroomed cottage'.


Memorial inscriptions in St Martin’s Church, East Woodhay
ILMO Cosmo A O DOUGLAS DSO Captain RN born 2.5.1884 died 3.3.1971
ILMO Helen Margaret DOUGLAS born 31.7.1884 – died 29.12.1972

Cosmo Alec Onslow DouglasAwaiting transcription

Kelly's Hanbook, 1969:- Douglas, capt. Cosmo, D.s.o. (1940), в.в., s. of Maj. Gordon Douglas, в. m.a. ; b. 1884 ; educ. H.M.S. "Britannia"; m. ... (1945) Hants: United Service club: Hazelby, East Woodhay, Newburv, Berks (Highclere 265)

The Tatler, 1917:- Commander Cosmo Douglas, R.N., second son of the late Major Gordon Douglas(1), and Mrs. Sandbach, widow of Major William Sandbach of Hazelby, Newbury, and youngest daughter of the late Canon Dundas of Albury, Surrey

Major, 6th Bn., King’s Own (Royal Lancaster
Died Tuesday 10 August 1915, aged 50.
Buried at 7th Field Ambulance Cemetery, Turkey.
Location: II.D.3
Son of the Rev. Gilbert Sandbach & Margaret, his wife; husband of Helen Margaret Douglas (formerly Sandbach) of Hazelby, Newbury.

Inscription: “Glory, honour, immortality until the day break and the shadows flee away”.

William Sandbach was born on 24 October, 1865 in Upper Sapey, in Hertfordshire. He was the fourth son of the Rev. Gilbert Sandbach of Woodlands, Aighburth, Liverpool and Rector of St Michael’s, Upper Sapey, in Herefordshire. His mother was Margaret Maxwell also from Liverpool.

William was educated at Eton College (1879-83), and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. From there, on 7 February 1885, he joined the Royal Fusiliers as Second Lieutenant, transferring to the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment in 1885. He was posted to India, Malta, and Gibraltar, before going on to South Africa, where he served throughout the Second Boer War (1899- 1902). He saw action at several critical events in the conflict, including the relief of Ladysmith, before being badly wounded at Spion Kap. He was subsequently awarded the Queen’s Medal with four clasps and the King’s Medal with two clasps, and retired from service on 15 July 1903.

In 1907 he bought the Hazelby estate in East Woodhay, which had been put up for sale following the death of Lady Louisa Howard, and in the same year, at Edinburgh’s St Mary’s Cathedral, he married Helen Margaret Dundas, the eldest daughter of Canon Robert James Dundas, who for 33 years had been rector of Albury, near Guildford. The marriage produced three children, including Peter who was killed in N. Africa 26 years later

On the outbreak of war in 1914, William immediately joined the 6th (service) Battalion of his regiment and was made Captain reserve of officers on 13 September 1914. He was promoted to Major on 24 October 1914 and in the following year, on 9 August 1915, he was killed in action during the attack on Suvla Bay, in the Gallipoli peninsula.

The adjutant, Captain Birley, wrote to his widow:
“I want to tell you what a noble death your gallant husband died. He was the first one of all to give us warning of the Turks’ attack about 4.45 last Monday morning. Quite early on in the engagement he got a terrible wound in the mouth, and I saw him in the firing line trying to give his men instructions as though nothing had happened. I begged him to go back to the Regimental Aid Post, to have his wound properly dressed, but he wouldn’t leave his men. The next I saw of him was taking ammunition boxes across the open to be refilled, and he was finally killed whilst rallying his men back into the trenches. He was shot through the heart, and must have died instantaneously ... I should like to tell you that I am mourning the loss of a splendid comrade and brave brother-officer, and that the Battalion in general, and his own company in particular, was simply devoted to him.”

His widow remained at Hazelby House, and in the summer of 1917 she married Captain Cosmo A.O. Douglas, at Reigate, Surrey, giving birth to another daughter, Elizabeth, in 1919.

There is a memorial window for the Sandbachs on the North wall of this church.

1.  Son of Commander William Manners Wellington Douglas and grandson of Rear Admiral Peter John Douglas.



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