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Brigadier William Charles Douglas





Arms of William Charles Douglas
Armorial bearings (Armorial bearings (L.O. , 1900, matric. as cadet on proof of descent from the Earls of Angus)— Quarterly, i and 4, argent, a heart gules, ensigned with an arc, imperial crown proper on a chief azure, three mullets of the field (for Douglas) ; 2 and 3, argent, a cross embattled sable (for Auchinleck), over all, dividing the quarters, a cross raguly of the last,the whole within a bordure invected azure, charged with eight holly leaves or (Irvine). Mantling gules, doubled argent.
Crest— On a chapeau gules, turned up ermine, a salamander in flames of fire proper.
Motto — "Jamais arriere."
Livery — Light drab, scarlet facings.
Brigadier William Charles Douglas, CB, DSO, JP, DL was born on the 18th June 1862, son of William Douglas, of Brigton, County Angus, and Ellen, daughter of John Thomas Rigge, of Hawkshead, Lancashire. (His parents married 14 months later)

William Charles Douglas was educated at the Royal Naval School, New Cross, and at Cheltenham College; spent some years in the United States, and joined the Royal Lanark Militia, as Second Lieutenant, on 4 June 1881, the year of the inauguration of the Territorial System, upon its adoption the 1st and 2nd Lanark Militia becoming the 3rd and 4th Battalions, The Cameronians.

He became Lieutenant, the 4th Scottish Rifles, on 1 July 1881; Captain 26 September 1885, and Major, 3rd Scottish Rifles, 25 December 1895. As Senior Major he commanded a battalion at Aldershot, and was in charge of the detachment in London on the occasion of the Jubilee Celebration in 1897.

He served during the South African War in 1901-2, as Commandant at Boshof, Orange River Colony, and in acting command of his battalion, the 3rd Cameronians, from June 1901 to May 1902, which had fifteen months' experience of the war; and took part in the operations in Cape Colony and the Orange River Colony. For his services in this campaign, Major Douglas was mentioned in Lord Kitchener's Despatches [London Gazette, 29 July 1902]; was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel 6 December 1902; received the Queen's Medal and four clasps, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 31 October 1902]: "William Charles Douglas, Major, the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). In recognition of services during the recent operations in South Africa". The decoration was awarded for continuous good service during the war.

He commanded the 3rd Battalion Scottish Rifles from 6 December 1902 to 20 May 1908, and was granted an extension of command for two years, but did not take advantage of it, and was granted the honorary rank of Colonel 27 April 1908. He retired 20 May 1908. pean War Colonel Douglas commanded the 2/5th Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) from 27 September 1914 to 15 January 1915, and commanded the 194th Infantry Brigade from 15 January 1915 to 17 March 1916. For services in the war he was granted the honorary rank of Colonel in the Army [London Gazette, 12 April 1917]; the honorary rank of Brigadier General [London Gazette, 10 August 1917]; was invested with the Insignia of Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath (Military Division) 9 February 1918, and has held the post of County Commandant Forfarshire Volunteer Regiment since 24 July 1917.

He was Deputy Lieutenant for the County of Forfar

Brigadier General Douglas's favourite recreations were shooting and fishing. He married, in August 1892, Jeannette (who died 2 December 1916), second daughter of P Hutchison, Shipowner, (Possibly of J & P Hutchison) of Glasgow, and they had four daughters.

Brigadier-General William Charles Douglas died at Sidmouth, Devon, 29th January 1938, and was interred in the family burial ground at Kinnettles.

• A strathspey was composed in or about 1891 titled Mr Douglas of Brigton. It seems odd that the brigadier would wish to be called Mr Douglas, but...?



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Last modified: Monday, 25 March 2024