David Archibald Gresley Douglas 85th Mountain Regiment RA

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Emma Hammett, Sep 15, 2010.

  1. Emma Hammett

    Emma Hammett Junior Member

    Please could you possibly see if you could help us to fill in some information about my Father’s wartime experience?

    He was mentioned in dispatches around 23rd May 1946 - a notice was published in the London Gazette on that day. Captain ( Temp ) DAG Douglas - Royal Artillery. – we would love to know why?

    I think he was in the 85th Mountain Regiment Royal Artillery. He was admitted to hospital on 15th Oct 1944 - cause unspecified and relinquished his post of adjutant on that date and resumed the post on 23rd November 1944. He had previously been discharged from hospital on 4th October 1944 and again was reappointed as adjutant.

    He enlisted on 15th August 1940 and his commission was dated 26th April 1941. On 1st October 1942 he was appointed W/s Lieutenant. On 21st June 1943 he was appointed A/Captain. On 30th October 1943 he was appointed T/Captain. He was Adjutant 21st June 1943 to 13th July 1943 and again 26th July 1943 to 26th August 1943 and again 24th Sept to 13th Nov 1943 and 22nd July 1944 to 1st Sept 1945.

    He served in the Middle East -, Iraq and in the Italian Campaign. I remember him telling me once that they were sent out to fight at El Alamein in Egypt, but by the time they had rounded the Care the Battle had been won and his regiment was redeployed from Egypt to Iraq to prepare for the Italian Campaign. I know he had Basuto Service Men deployed with him to pull the guns over the Appalachians with their mules which proved a linguistic and logistical challenge.

    Any help you can give us or ideas as to where to look next would be very gratefully received.
  2. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

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  3. EmmaH

    EmmaH Junior Member

    Hi Emma,

    I have done quite extensive research on this regiment as my partners father was also in the regiment for its duration, serving in the same arenas as your father.
    I have seen the war diaries that have been mentioned to you above and though not in too much detail they are an interesting insight into the day to day manoeuvres of the Regiment.
    This regiment is little researched and I am not sure as to why. Up until a year ago I had a web site on the internet dedicated to the Regiment but sadly Geocities ceased to provide their free sites and I haven't got round to finding another web host as yet.
    I shall have a look into my research and see if I am able to find your fathers name in the results. I also have amassed quite an amount of pictures that I would be willing to share for he may be in some of these.
    Perhaps you could send me your email address in order to do so.

  4. WilliamD

    WilliamD New Member

    A photo caption tells us this:
    A Jeep supply train wends its way up a steep road over the Monte Di Rontana with 75mm and 3.7-inch ammunition for 85th Mountain Regiment, Royal Artillery, 2 February 1945. The ammunition was transferred to mules for the final part of the journey. The guns were firing at German positions in Isola.
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  5. harkness

    harkness Well-Known Member

    Royal Artillery Attestations 1939:

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  6. Emma Hammett

    Emma Hammett Junior Member

    Thank you so much for this, that is great to see. Especially in his handwriting! Is there any way we can find out why he was mentioned in dispatches? It would mean so much to us to know. Very many thanks Emma
  7. travers1940

    travers1940 Well-Known Member

    Sorry to dissapoint, but I would expect that this entry in the Royal Artillery Attestations is in fact in the handwriting of the clerk that completed it, rather than Douglas Gresley.
  8. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member


    Finding anything written down for why someone was Mentioned in Despatches is notoriously difficult if not impossible. The problem was that someone was MiD maily because they, over a period of time provided excellent service, never let anyone down etc etc, they did not necessarily perform a daring deed or saved someone life directly, what they did was an accumulation of good deeds over a long period of time, that a superior officer has noted and felt that person deserved some recognition

    The Mentioned in Dispatches award
    A Mention in Despatches is an operational gallantry award given to all ranks for an act (or acts) of bravery during active operations. This award is available posthumously.
    You can replace a Mention in Despatches if you meet the criteria.

    Hope that helps


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