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Archibald Sholto George Douglas, CBE




Major-General Archibald Sholto George Douglas , British general , * 17 March 1896 , Royston , Hertfordshire , England , † 17th March 1981 , North Dorset , Dorset , England.


(1896 – 1981) son of Captain George Sholto Douglas 1858-1916 and Lady Laura Wentworth-Fitzwilliam of FitzWilliam 1869-1936.  He was a grandson of the 17th Earl of Morton.

He married Violet Davison, and had 4 children, Colin, James, Gavin and Joanna..


He was educated at Eton College, Windsor and at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.


He fought in the First World War and he was mentioned in despatches. A Captain in the 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, he was appointed Allied Commissioner General during the 'Armeno-Georgian Entanglement', establishing the British Headquarters at Alaverdi c1918/1919(1).


Captain Archibald Sholto George Douglas, a member of the 4th Battalion, Rifle Brigade, played a crucial role as the Allied commissioner general in the region of Borchalu. His responsibilities were significant: overseeing matters related to the zone's borders, troop composition, administration structure, and local militia. The neutral zone, which encompassed Alaverdi's productive copper mines, forty-three predominantly Armenian villages, and approximately 50 miles of railway with six stations, was divided into three districts: Uzunlar, Voiontsovka, and Alaverdi. Each district, along with its thirteen subdivided village clusters, was to have a native resident commissar.

Captain Douglas had been leading a peacekeeping mission in this disputed zone since the cessation of hostilities. On 2th January 1919, he was formally appointed as the Allied commissioner general with the rank of Acting Major. Supported by one company from the 4th Brigade Rifles, Douglas established British headquarters in Alaverdi. His reports, much like Colonel Ritchie's (the British Military Representative, Akhalkalak) communiqués, were notably critical of Georgian officials, especially those in the Armenian villages situated just within the neutral zone


He fought in the Second World War and was mentioned in despatches.


He was appointed Commander, Order of the British Empire (C.B.E.) in 1943. He was awarded the Order of Kutuzov of the U.S.S.R(2) in 1944.


He died in 1981, and is buried in the graveyard of St Mary's, Dalmahoy.



Military ranks:


C1918, Captain

27 Jan 1919, Acting Major


14 Jan 1933 gazetted as Lt. Col.

1940-06-19 Lieutenant-Colonel

1940-06-19 Acting Colonel
1940-12-19 Temporary Colonel
1941-03-12 Relinquish the Temporary rank of Colonel
1942-04-20 Temporary Colonel
1942-09-30 Relinquish the Temporary rank of Colonel
1942-10-09 Temporary Colonel
1942-10-09 Acting Brigadier
1943-04-09 Temporary Brigadier
1943-12-31 Colonel (Dated back to 1943-06-19)
1944-08-20 Acting Major-General
1944-11-18 Relinquish the Acting rank of Major-General
1945-01-18 Relinquish the Temporary rank of Brigadier
1945-06-24 Local Brigadier
1946-06-30 Granted the Honorary rank of Brigadier


27 Jan 1919 - Aug 1919 British Commissioner-general of Lori Neutral Zone (at Alaverdi)

1st October 1930 relinquished appointment as Deputy Assistant Adjutant General to the Iraq Levies

1940-06-15 – 1941-01-12 Commandant of Tactical School, Middle East
1941-XX-XX Commanding Officer 2nd Battalion, Rifle Brigade (North Africa)
1942-01-31 – 1942-04-02 Commanding Officer ? Troops
1942-04-20 – 1942-09-30 Commanding Officer ? Sub-Area Middle East
1942-10-09 – 1944-11-18 Commanding Officer Persia Area, Persia
1943-01-XX – 1944-10-15 General Officer Commanding 12th Indian Division
1945-06-24 – Assistant Commandant of Staff College Camberley (Sandhurst)
1946-08-30 Retired


grave markerGrave in St Mary's, Dalmahoy




1.  The Armeno-Georgian War was a short border dispute that was fought in December 1918 between the newly independent Democratic Republic of Georgia and the First Republic of Armenia, largely over the control of former districts of the Tiflis Governorate, in Borchaly (Lori) and Akhalkalaki.


The Allied, Georgian and Armenian officials met to discuss a final settlement from 9 to 17 January 1919. Diplomatic and trade relations were resumed between the two republics. Prisoners were also returned on 23 January. The British created a neutral zone, centred in the Borchaly uezd and reaching from Sadakhlu to the prewar border with Armenia. A commissioner general, eventually decided to be Captain A. S. G. Douglas, would administer the zone and have ultimate authority on the number of Armenian and Georgian troops stationed within it.  The neutral zone was split into the districts of Uzunlar, Vorontsovka, and Alaverdi. There were 41–43 villages within the neutral zone with large Armenian populations.


2.  The Order of Kutuzov (or Орден Кутузова in Russian) is a military decoration of the Russian Federation established during World War II and named after famous Russian Field Marshal Mikhail Illarionovich Kutuzov (1745–1813).

The Order was created to reward senior Red Army officers. During World War II, 669 Orders of Kutuzov 1st class were awarded. The Order 2nd class was awarded to 3,325 corps, division, and brigade commanders. The Order 3rd class was awarded to regimental commanders, their chiefs of staff, battalion and company commanders and was only established on February 8, 1943. Of this type, 3,328 3rd class orders were awarded.

Following the 1991 dissolution of the USSR, the Order of Kutuzov was retained unchanged in both design and statute by decree of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation No 2424-1 of March 2, 1992.


3.  Two Customs Declarations, dated March 1929, detailing gun No. 7484 being declared for a return journey to the United Kingdom from Basrah, property of Captain A.S.G. Douglas O.B.E., by boat on the S.S. Neuralia (and valued at £140).  This gun, and its pair No. 7483,  were sold by auction in March 2023.


4.  21st July 1944 awarded the Soviet Award, the recommendation for the award reading:
"As the British Commander in Persia, Brigadier Douglas has had the responsibility of the security against interference by the tribesmen of Persia of the aid to Russia routes, including those operated by the Americans. In addition his efforts are considered very largely to have reduced the pilfering of Russian stores to its present level"


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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024