Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria (3 December 2020)
Date of Auction: 3rd December 2020
Sold for £280
Estimate: £200 - £300
Pair: Private F. J. Douglas, 19th Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces, who was killed in action during the Battle of Mont Saint-Quentin, France, on 31 August 1918
British War and Victory Medals (6543 Pte. F. J. Douglas. 19-Bn. A.I.F.) good very fine
Six: Lieutenant H. S. Douglas, Australian Military Forces
1939-45 Star; Africa Star, 1 clasp, 8th Army; Pacific Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45; Australia Service Medal, the last three officially impressed ‘NX6836 H. S. Douglas’ light contact marks, very fine (8) £200-£300
FootnoteFrederick James Douglas was born in Camperdown, Sydney, Australia on 12 October 1899 and, having served 4 years in the 39th Cadets, he left to enlist in the 19th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force on 30 October 1916. He embarked at Sydney on 7 February 1917, bound for England, arriving at Devonport on 11 April 1917 from where he proceeded overseas to France on 20 November 1917 and was taken on the strength of the 19th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force, in Belgium, on 26 November 1917.
As part of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division, the 19th Battalion took part in the many battles which helped to stem the German Spring Offensive of 1918, including the fighting around Hangard Wood on 7 April where Lieutenant Percy Storkey of the Battalion won the Victoria Cross. Later the same year, they also participated in the allied offensives which pushed the German Army towards defeat, including the legendary attack at Mont Saint-Quentin on 31 August 1918 where Private Douglas was killed in action. On this occasion, the Australian troops stormed, seized and held the key heights of Mont Saint-Quentin, overlooking Peronne, a pivotal defensive position on the line of the Somme. The British Fourth Army’s commander, General Henry Rawlinson went so far as to describe the Australian advances of 31 August to 4 September 1918 as the greatest military achievement of the war.
Douglas was initially buried ‘in an isolated grave in a trench about 90 yards from a ruined house just west of Mont. St. Quentin and 1 mile north of Peronne, France’. In 1919, his remains were exhumed and re-interred in Personne Communal Cemetery Extension.
Herbert Stanley Douglas was born on 4 September 1914 in Lidcombe, New South Wales. He enlisted into the Australian Imperial Force on 27 October 1939 at Victoria Barracks, Hurlstone Park, New South Wales and was discharged on 21 October 1945.
Note: This lot is available for viewing in Swanbourne, Western Australia, by appointment with our Australasian representative, John Burridge.