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Captain Alexander Douglas






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Captain Alexander Douglas, 93rd Highlanders 


This portrait of Captain Alexander Douglas of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders was painted whilst serving at the Cape of Good Hope in 1809.  It hangs in the Regimental Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.


I would welcome help in identifying him.  The following notes may, or may not, be about this man.


??sailed on the Preston to Cape of Good Hope as an ensign 1806...and returned on 25th of April, 1814 on the same ship (now a Major)


??Alexander Douglas. A captain in the (93rd) regiment 16th of June, 1808; ranking in the army from 28th of June 1801 ; brevet-major, 14th of June, 1816.


??A. Douglas of 93rd Foot, Captain 1st June 1813


??Alexander Douglas to be Ensign without purchase 24th May 1813 Possibly 46th Foot


??59th Regiment of Foot(1) - Lieutenant Alexander Douglas, form (from?) half pay 93d foot, to be lieutenant, vice Wolfe, appointed to the 98th foot.   '23d April, 1824'.


??Alexander Douglass. Ensign, 24th of May, 1818; lieutenant, 2nd of August, 1815. (1817.) - 93rd Regiment


??June 1794, at Guadaloupe, the Hon Alexander Douglas, of 38th Regiment, died.


??1798 - Alexander Douglas, Lieutenant of the 46th Regiment of the Foot divorced Sally Nish or M'Nish daughter of David Nish or M'Nish, merchant of Bridge end of Dumfries, married two years, and had issue a child.


??Alexander Douglas, Gent, to be Ensign, by Purchase, vice. Magasy, who retires. 8th Oct 1896


??ALEXANDER DOUGLAS was born in Winchburgh, West Lothian in October 1826. After a rudimentary education at the village school he started to work with his uncle, when aged nine, as a miner at Colinshiels colliery. He remained there until 1852, when he visited Edinburgh Castle and enlisted in the Cameron Highlanders. In January 1854 he transferred to the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders who were waiting at Plymouth to embark for Russia. On February 28th he sailed for Russia. He took part in the battle of Alma, and at Balaclava formed a part of the “thin red streak, topped with a line of steel” which forced the Russian Cavalry to retire and culminated in the Charge of the Light Brigade.

A day after the battle Douglas happened to hear Sir Colin Campbell talking to a cavalry officer who was speaking about the brilliant Charge of the Light Brigade. Sir Colin replied “I don’t understand your cavalry movements but I can defy the devil with the infantry.” He braved the winter in the appalling conditions of the trenches at Sebastopol.

Following the Crimean War he was sent to India. On 31 October 1857 his regiment, together with the 53rd, defeated the mutineers at Kudjwa. He also took part in the second and third relief of Lucknow, and on 5 May Douglas saw his last action at the battle of Bareilly. Following the suppression of the Mutiny he remained with the 93rd in India, leaving the service in 1863.

On returning home he served a year with the Dundee Constabulary and then transferred to the West Lothian Constabulary where he served a further three years until his retirement.

??A Crimea and Mutiny ‘Thin Red Line’ Pair, Alexander Douglas, 93rd Highlanders:
Crimea 1854-56, three clasps, Alma, Balaklava, Sebastopol, engraved in serif caps. (Alexr. Douglas 93rd F(oot);
Indian Mutiny 1857-58, 2 clasps, Lucknow, Relief of Lucknow (Alexr. Douglas, 93rd Highlanders), both with heavy contact wear, first about fine, second slightly better, sold with a 93rd Highlanders shoulder flash, two tunic buttons attached together to form a brooch and two newspaper accounts of his funeral, 20 February 1904, both with photographs showing him wearing additionally his Turkish Crimean Medal.


PROMOTIONS. From the LONDON GAZETTE. May 27, 1797:   Dundee Volunteers: First Lieutenant Sir Alexander Douglas, bart. to be captain. Second Lieutenant William Lindsay to be first lieutenant, vice Sir Alexander Douglas. Robert Stirling, gent. to be second lieutenant, vice Lindsay.


DOUGLAS Alexander Guiddon and Major to His Majesties Troop of Guards - investor in  the Company of Scotland Trading to Africa and
the Indies, 1696-1700  (Darien Expedition)




1.  Major Charles Douglas (1787-1816) served in the 59th.  He died unmarried.





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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024