PTE R.B. McDOUGALL 15TH H.L.I.
1034 Private Robert Barr McDougall
15th Battalion, Highland Light Infantry
killed in action 18th November 1916
Munich Trench British Cemetery,
Freeland Church Memorial, Bridge of Weir
Son of Robert McDougall and Jane McGhee
The Mimosas, Bridge of Weir
Husband of Agnes Clarke
Robert McDougall was born on 7th April 1895 in Bridge of Weir, the fourth of five children of Robert Barr McDougall, from Bridge of Weir, and Jane McGhee originally from Ireland who had married in Bridge of Weir on 17th July 1887.
In 1891, Robert (28) and Jane (28) were living in 5 Girwhitter Brae, Milngavie, Stirlingshire, where Robert was working as a carter. Jane's mother, Sarah McGee (65) a house servant from Co. Antrim, was living with them.
By 1901, the family, now of seven, had moved to a two roomed flat in The Mimosas, Bridge of Weir. Robert senior (37) was now a tanner. The eldest daughter Sarah A was a domestic servant and the next three children, including young Bertie (5) were at school. The family took in two lodgers, Henry Neill (27) a gardener from Ireland, and John McGee (20) a tanner's labourer from Bridge of Weir.
In 1911 the family was still living at The Mimosas. Eldest daughter Sarah was now a shop assistant in a bakery. The oldest son John had followed his father's trade as a tanner. Nellie was a shop assistant to a confectioner, Bertie (15) was a club maker at the golf club and George was still at school.
Robert volunteered for active service in November 1914 when he was 18 years old, and a professional at Old Ranfurly Golf Club. He had entered for the 1914 Open Championship. He was enlisted into the 15th Battalion (1st Glasgow) of the Highland Light Infantry. His younger brother George took over his duties at the golf club.
While still at Gailes camp near Troon, where he was in training, Robert married Agnes S Clarke, the daughter of blacksmith David Clarke and Barbara McFadyen. Agnes was 26 (Robert was 19) and she was a domestic servant at Morada, Bridge of Weir. They were married on 8th February 1915 at the Registry Office in 19 Howard Street, Glasgow by Sheriff's Warrant and declaration in the presence of witnesses Annie and Jeanie Graham.
After further training in Salisbury, Private McDougall first joined the theatre of war on 23rd November 1915 in France. On 18th November 1916 he was part of a raiding party capturing German trenches and was killed by a sniper's bullet. The date and location matches the Battle of the Ancre, the final British offensive of the Battle of the Somme. He was interred in the Munich Trench British Cemetery at Beaumont-Hamel, only four graves away from that of another Bridge of Weir man, Robert Barr, formerly the assistant professional at Ranfurly Castle Golf Club. The two young golfers had been killed on the same day.
|1891 Census||1901 Census||1911 Census||Birthplace|
|Sarah Ann||3||Sarah A||13||Sarah||23||Bridge of Weir|
|John||1||John||11||John||21||Bridge of Weir|
|Nellie B||8||Nellie||18||Bridge of Weir|
|Bertie||5||Bertie||15||Bridge of Weir|
|George McC||1||George||11||Bridge of Weir|
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- Scottish National War Memorial
- Robert McDougall birth certificate, 7th April 1895. Bridge of Weir, Kilbarchan. Regd. 19th April 1895.
- 1891 UK Census: Parish: New Kilpatrick; ED:15; Page:8; Line:16; Roll: CSSCT1891_161.
- 1901 UK Census: Parish: Houston; ED:1; Page:19; Line:14; Roll: CSSCT1901_188..
- 1911 UK Census:Parish: Houston West: Page 8; lines 23-29; 559/0B 001/00 008.
- Robert McDougall and Agnes Clarke marriage certificate 8th February 1915. Regd Glasgow 8th February 1915
- History of Bridge of Weir. W Lyle.
- Old Ranfurly. Drew McKenzie. The Old Course Ranfurly Golf Club. 2005.
- Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette
- 14th November 1914: Robert B McDougall (professional golfer) enlisted during the past week to 1st Glasgow HLI.
- 30th December 1916: WELL-KNOWN GOLFER KILLED. PRIVATE ROBERT B. MACDOUGALL, H.L.I.: Amongst the Bridge of Weir men who have given their lives for the Empire is Private Robert B. Macdougall, H.L.I. With a raiding party on November 18th, he took part in the capture of German trenches, and fell by a sniper's bullet at the close of the action. As professional at the Old Ranfurly Golf Course, Private Macdougall was well known, and was very popular. He was always bright and ready to be of help. As a player he was very promising; he was deft and was developing a fine power of driving. In May, 1914, he tied for third place in the Paisley and District Professionals' Competition in Paisley. The call of his country appealed to his eager spirit, and in November, 1914, he joined the H.L.I., and after training at Gailes and Salisbury he proceeded to France in November, 1915. He was a good soldier and a staunch friend, and the news of his death was received in his native district with deep sorrow.
- 23rd November 1918: "In loving memory of my dear son, Private Robert B McDougall, killed in action 18th November 1916 - inserted by his mother, Mrs McDougall, Old Manse, Bridge of Weir. One of the unreturning".
- 22nd November 1919 - IN MEMORIAM: In ever loving memory of Private Robert McDougall, 15th HLI killed in action at Beaumont-Hamel 18th November 1916. Inserted by his Mother, Brothers and Sisters, Old Manse, Bridge of Weir. So dearly loved, so sadly missed.
- Glasgow Evening Times
o 12th December 1916: DEATHS On Service. MACDOUGALL. Killed in action, on 18th November, Private Robert Barr MacDougall, H.L.I., husband of Nessie S. Clarke, Whindyke, Dalserf, and second son of Mrs Robert MacDougall, Old Manse, Bridge of Weir.
- War Diaries: 15th Battalion Highland Light Infantry: WO95/2393-3. National Archives. Sept 1916-May 1917.
- 18th November 1916: TRENCHES in K35c: At 3.25am Battn. Received orders to attack enemy's position from K35d 3/9 to 35a 5/3 (both inclusive) at 6.10am. At 6am companies deployed. C coy left, D coy centre, A coy right, D coy distributed between the 3 coys. Snow was falling, this & frost combined showed the men up when getting over the top & enemy's snipers started shooting. Our barrage was to open at 6.10am. On our right in MUNICH TRENCH. Lifting to 150 yds WEST & beyond. (This refers to attack EAST by 97th Bde. on our right.) Till all guns fired on a consolidation line 200 yds. Beyond FRANKFORD [sic] TR. Our own barrage was directed on a line 150 yds south of & parallel to TEN TREE ALLEY. Finishing on TEN TREE ALLEY. This was 500 yds behind our objective & quite valueless for the purpose of keeping down the enemy's fire. N.B. when line was handed over to the Battalion, it was actually handed over approx. 300 yds in rear of the line we were supposed to have occupied. This was noted to higher authority, but the barrage was not dropped so as to fire on enemy's front line. Owing to barrage being too far advanced & enemy's snipers & machine guns & a heavy artillery barrage which they opened 6 minutes after ours commenced, we only advanced to points K35d, 25/87. D.1/7. C. 68/75. C53/71. C45/80. To C 25/86. These points were held as bombing ports. Enemy's heavy barrage continued all day & night, slightly more intense between 7 & 9 pm. As some of the enemy were seen in rear of our Companies, we asked the Brigade to allot a Company of the 1/DORSET REGT. as a mopping up party. We received 3 Officers & 3 Platoons, which reinforced the 3 leading Companies. Owing to frost & snow the Trenches began to get very muddy, making travelling difficult. Day was generally fine but cold.
- 30th November 1916: HALLOY: Casualties for month of November 1916: Killed: Officers 3, O.R. 25; Wounded: Officers 2, O.R. 102; Missing: O.R. 20; Died of wounds: Officers 1, O.R. 2; Wounded and missing: Officers 1; Wounded and at duty: Officers 2, O.R. 4; Missing believed killed: O.R. 1. TOTAL: Officers 9, O.R. 154. H.W. Davis Lt. Col. commanding 15th High. L. I.
- Medals: Victory, British War, 1915 Star.
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