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Herbert Archibald Douglas





Lt Col Herbert Archibald Douglas was born at Salwarpe on 2 April 1874, the son of Thomas and Janet Douglas. He was educated at Eton and was commissioned in the Wiltshire Regiment on 29 May 1895.

On 14 September he was posted to India, returning home on 7 October 1898 and sent to India again in May the following year. He transferred to the Army Service Corps in January 1902 and thence to the Indian Supply and Transport Corps. His postings were: 1904 Mhow; 1905 Ambala; 1908 Chitral and Drosh (during which he served in the Mohmand Expedition); 1912 Lyallpur, when he was Commandant of the Grantee Camel Corp.

He served with Indian troops in France 1914-1915 and was appointed Assistant Director of Supplies in the latter year. After service in Mesopotomia in 1916 he returned to India. He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel on 29 May 1921 and retired 1 June 1922.

On 4 December 1915 he married Marie Louise Dollez at the Embassy Chapel in Paris and in his retirement settled in France. He was a prominent member of the English community in Paris, helping and advising in the British consulate. He also organised the annual dinner for old Etonians in Paris. The last ten or twelve years of his life were overshadowed by illness, possibly arising from the long-term effects of a severe accident at polo in 1917. He died on 19 October 1941.

His son recalls him as a keen sportsman, joining in the 'Boys v Fathers' Match at his prep school, and reminiscing about the hunting trophies which hung on the walls of his house in Paris. He was an enthusiastic polo player, and an amateur actor in plays and the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. He was a Freemason.

A substantial collection of 760 images in 14 albums of his photographs, which are of very high quality, are held in Cambridge University Library: Royal Commonwealth Society Library


There is a theory that he was the mysterious Professor J. Archibald Douglas responsible for debunking Nicolas Notovitch's "The Life of the Holy Issa"


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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024