This page was last updated on 30 September 2021

Click here to 
Print this page

Biography finder





























Index of first names

Rev James Douglas








 In 1942 a former curate, of Magheralin Parish, the Rev. James Douglas, joined the Forces as a Padre. Sadly, he was killed during the battle for Mont Pincon(1), on August 5 1944, following the Normandy landings, and was later mentioned in dispatches, having been in the front line with his men.

Mr. Douglas was appointed curate of Magheralin in August 1933 and remained there for five years before moving to Colebrook as Rector in February, 1938 and later joining the army as a padre. The resilient and complete faith in God which had characterised Mr. Douglas' ministry in Magheralin was the gift he took with him to the field of battle. That he was able to share God's saving grace with so many young men, and urge them to place their trust in God was indeed a special calling for Mr. Douglas. He felt honoured that God had called him to do this business and he answered that call faithfully to the end. A Padre leading his men in prayer in the fleeting minutes before battle is a sobering moment.

The Rev. James Douglas was born in Waterford and educated in Wesley College and Trinity College, Dublin. When he first came to Magheralin, he lodged at first in the `Wilderness' with the Gilpin family(2). Later in 1935 he married and moved to the curate's house at no. 19 Avenue Road. This was formerly a Police Barracks and retained a cell in the basement! One night, Mrs. Douglas was startled to hear banging on the door. Upon opening it, she discovered that a man, pursued by a crowd for some misdemeanour was seeking police protection! Mrs. Douglas played the organ in Dollingstown for some time.

Today, half a century later, (circa 1991) Mr. Douglas is survived by three children and his wife. One daughter lives in Helen's Bay, while his son is the well-known Dr. James Douglas, often referred to as `the kidney man' at Belfast City Hospital. Mr. Douglas' eldest daughter Anne, now lives in the area and is a parishioner of the church where her father once served. A teacher, she married Dr. W. Miller, who is a local GP. Mrs. Douglas, although frail and unable to attend the church where she has so many happy memories, is still a frequent visitor to the area.



1, Some historians claim that the battle of the XXX Corps on Mont Pinçon was one of the hardest of the whole campaign in Normandy. The moral of the 7th Armoured Division was very low as in the previous operation Goodwood the unit had suffered heavy losses and had little time to regroup. Despite this, the division began on the morning of August 6, to advance from Villers-Bocage until Aunay-sur-Odon. The division advanced through the pines and chestnut trees at the foot of the mountain, 1100 meters high. In the night between 6 and 7 August, the British conquered the woods less than 2 km from La Vallée (crossroads between Auney and Caen, and between Villers-Bocage and Conde) directed towards Les Trois Maries, on the plain behind the woods of Mont Pinçon. The top of the mountain was very well defended and the British were able to reach only with the help of artillery. On August 7, the armored squadrons of the Royal Guard and advanced toward Les Grands Bonfaits The Busq. The 2nd Squadron of the 2nd Armored Battalion Irish Guards stood on the nearby ridge when he was attacked by three German Panzer IV and artillery that forced the British to abandon their positions. Always August 7 wagons of the 7th Armoured Division and infantry Division “Wessex” reached the top of the mountain. At 12:00, however, already some 14 tanks and other vehicles were destroyed. Only after August 9 Aunay between the crest and La Vallée was completely in Allied hands.

2.  Anthony Capper Gilpin married Eirene Claire Douglas, daughter of Sinton Douglas and Anne Elizabeth Chapman. They may, or may not, be of the same family. Anthony worked for the United nations, probably in Geneva.



Any contributions will be gratefully accepted



Errors and Omissions

The Forum

What's new?

We are looking for your help to improve the accuracy of The Douglas Archives.

If you spot errors, or omissions, then please do let us know


Many articles are stubs which would benefit from re-writing. Can you help?


You are not authorized to add this page or any images from this page to (or its subsidiaries) or other fee-paying sites without our express permission and then, if given, only by including our copyright and a URL link to the web site.


If you have met a brick wall with your research, then posting a notice in the Douglas Archives Forum may be the answer. Or, it may help you find the answer!

You may also be able to help others answer their queries.

Visit the Douglas Archives Forum.


2 Minute Survey

To provide feedback on the website, please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey.


We try to keep everyone up to date with new entries, via our What's New section on the home page.

We also use the Community Network to keep researchers abreast of developments in the Douglas Archives.

Help with costs

Maintaining the three sections of the site has its costs.  Any contribution the defray them is very welcome



If you would like to receive a very occasional newsletter - Sign up!



Back to top


The content of this website is a collection of materials gathered from a variety of sources, some of it unedited.

The webmaster does not intend to claim authorship, but gives credit to the originators for their work.

As work progresses, some of the content may be re-written and presented in a unique format, to which we would then be able to claim ownership.

Discussion and contributions from those more knowledgeable is welcome.

Contact Us

Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024