Dr Norman Gladstone Douglas

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Dr Norman Gladstone Douglas (23rd June 1865 - 2nd February 1898), a ‘Physician /Surgeon’, was the youngest son of Louisa and Scottish born ‘Draper’ Hugh Douglas.

Born at Monks Coppenhall, Cheshire on the 23rd of June 1865, married Mary Caroline Clegg [born Oldham 1863] at Stockport during 1890 the couple had eventually moved to Edinburgh where Norman Douglas had studied medicine. Residing in Edinburgh at No5 St. Clair Terrace by 1891, Norman had shortly qualified as a Doctor of Medicine, and by 1892 had arrived in Scarborough where on the 5th of March a daughter Marjorie Kilmour Douglas had been born. Sadly, Marjorie had died on the 27th of August during the following year. Two years later, on the 29th of January 1895 the Douglas’s eldest son, Norman Sholto Douglas had been born at No.6 Westfield Terrace, Scarborough.

A second son, Bryce Douglas, a Lieutenant in the Indian army, was born in Scarborough on Sunday the 2nd of January 1898 at No.6 Westfield Terrace [a long vanished row of houses that had once stood where the town’s Odeon Cinema and latterly the Stephen Joseph Theatre is now located], was killed in Palestine in 1917.

Soon after Bryce’s arrival, during Wednesday the 2nd of February 1898 his father had taken his own life by shooting himself in the mouth with a Colt revolver, the bullet passing out of the back of the Doctor’s head taking a part of his skull with it. Killed almost instantaneously, A subsequent inquest had concluded that the thirty-two years of age Doctor Douglas had ‘committed suicide whilst temporarily insane’ in the family home at No. Westfield Terrace. The death of Dr. Douglas had caused a sensation in the town and amongst the local press, ‘The Scarborough Mercury of Friday the 4th of February 1898 having included a large article; which had begun;
‘We regret to record the death of Dr. Douglas, a well known member of the medical profession of Scarborough, which occurred under particularly tragic circumstances yesterday at his residence at No.6 Westfield Terrace, opposite the Railway Station, in Westborough. Dr. Douglas had not been in the best of health lately, suffering very much from nervousness, and within the last day or two had consulted at least two of his professional brethren as to the state of his health, who had advised that he was evidently run down from overwork, and to leave business cares alone for a time and go on holiday. He had reluctantly consented to do so, and had in fact made arrangements for his departure. Unfortunately, at the last moment, Dr. Douglas seems to have changed his plans and decided to remain at his duties meantime…the deceased was so genuine hearted and so hail- fellow- well met in his manner that his tragic death has been the one topic of conversation in Scarborough and the neighbourhood. Everywhere he was a great social favourite. He was also a keen huntsman and had owned some exceptionally fine horses, and hunted regularly in the district’…Following the death of her husband Mary Douglas and her two sons had resided for a time in Scarborough’s South Cliff area at No.26 Prince of Wales Terrace, however, by the star of the Great War the family had been residing at the ‘Manor House’, Whitkirk, Leeds.

Norman Douglas’s name can be found on a grave marker located in section South Terrace/Grave 14 of Manor Road Cemetery that contains the name of his daughter Marjory Kilmours Douglas, whose remains, according to the inscription on the now weathered stone, had been interred in Scalby Churchyard shortly after her death in 1893, and also the name of his son, Bryce, killed in Palestine.

Having never remarried Mary Caroline Douglas had eventually passed away at the age of sixty-nine years on Friday the 27th of May 1932 and her funeral had subsequently taken place in Scarborough on the last day of May.

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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024