Dougall, Thomas: Service no. 53560 (Military Cross, Medaille Militaire (France))

CVWM Page

Digitized Service Record

Find-A-Grave page.

This man may have enlisted with the 18th Battalion CEF underage. His age on that date (October 24, 1915) is listed as 18-years, 11-months, yet on his death on August 19, 1917, his age is listed as 19-years old. This would mean he was approximately 17-years old when he enlisted.

His ability as a soldier was represented with his rise in rank from a private to acting-corporal in the field on June 16, 1916. He then was commissioned to the rank of lieutenant on February 17, 1917. It appears this man did not go to England to attend an officer’s course, which was the normal procedure for men promoted from the ranks.

He earned the Medaille Militaire from the French Republic on May 1, 1917, and then the Military Cross on September 26, 1917 (London Gazette. September 25, 1917. Supplement no. 30308. Page 9981. This award was promulgated after his death.

The 18th Battalion War Diary relates in an entry July 22, 1917: “During this tour LIEUT. T.R. DOUGALL rendered valuable service and obtained valuable information by making 3 daring reconnaissances among the buildings in NO MANS LAND. At M.19.a.70.00 and N.19.0.80.70 he searched these houses and German dugouts in the vicinity. 2 of these reconnaissances were made during daylight and from information gained he was able to direct artillery fire on T.M. [trench mortar] emplacements.”

The Military Cross citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He made two valuable daylight reconnaissances into houses in “No Man’s Land” and discovered machine gun emplacements, dug-outs and tunnels, as well as two trench mortar emplacements, upon which he was able to direct our artillery fire with great success on returning to our lines.

Source via Dawn Heuston via the 18th Battalion Facebook Group. London Gazette dated August 1, 1918.

 

Thomas Dougall was born in England in 1897 but was a labourer residing in Guelph when he enlisted as a private in October 1914. By 1917, Dougall had been promoted to sergeant. In February of that year, he earned the Military Cross and the French Medaille Militaire “for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He made two valuable daylight reconnaissances into houses in no man’s land and discovered machine gun emplacements, dugouts and tunnels, as well as two trench mortar emplacements, upon which he was able to direct our artillery fire with great success.”

In addition to being decorated, Dougall was promoted to lieutenant. A few months later, on Aug. 19, he died from shrapnel wounds. Dougall was 19 years old.

Source

Note that this summary may actually refer to a series of actions carried out in mid-July 1917. The 18th Battalion War Diary records on July 22nd, 1917:

“During this tour LIEUT. T.R. DOUGALL rendered valuable service and obtained valuable information by making 3 daring reconnaissances among the buildings in NO MNS LAND. At M.19.a.70.00 and N.19.0.80.70 he searched these houses and German dugouts in the vicinity. 2 of these reconnaissances were made during daylight and from information gained he was able to direct artillery fire on T.M. [trench mortar] emplacements.”

Dougall Attestation Recover, 18th Battalion Nominal Rolls, 1915.

Dougall Attestation Recover, 18th Battalion Nominal Rolls, 1915.

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“Died of Wounds” When in charge of a military operation in the vicinity of Lens on August 17th, 1917, he was fatally wound by enemy shrapnel in the back. He succumbed to his wounds to days later at No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station.

 

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Source: CVWM

War Diary from July 1917 relating Lt. Dougall’s work in No Man’s Land.

War Diary Entry for August 19, 1917: “LIEUT. T.R. DOUGALL Died of Wounds at No. 6 C.C.S. Barlin, and was buried at the Military Cemetery there. His courage and energy had been a source of pride in the Battalion and his work had been of the greatest value, not only to the Battalion, but also to Brigade and Division.”

 

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31829_B016738-00390

“Died of Wounds” When in charge of a military operation in the vicinity of Lens on August 17th, 1917, he was fatally wound by enemy shrapnel in the back. He succumbed to his wounds two days later at No. 6 Casualty Clearing Station.

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