The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Sergeant James Charleson Douglas, Colonial Police

Attempting to trace Douglases who lived in New Deer, Aberdeenshire, I came across the following:

In Oct 1977, The Glasgow Herald reported that Mr James Charleson Douglas, 20 Back Road. Dailly, an 83-year old Ayrshire man, who was married on March 2, 1928 was granted a divorce from Mrs Janet Douglas, address unknown. At the time of the marriage, Mr Douglas was serving with the palestine police. They lived together for a year.

For sale on eBay April 2015:
Pair of Medals with Paperwork and Palestine Gendarmerie Police Whistle To J C Charleson
1 Colonial Police Long Service Medal & Further Bar Sergeant James Charleson Douglas, Colonial Police Meritorious Service Medal Sergeant James Charleson Douglas
2 Palestine Gendarmerie Police Whistle with Handcuff Keys
3 Palestine O.C.A. Key Ring
4 Certificate of Discharge Number 21 Sergeant James Charleston Douglas
5 Palestine Police Old Comrades Association Book To Douglas
6 Palestine Police Letter To Certify That Mr J C Douglas served in the Palestine Gendarmerie from 7th April 1922 until 1st April 1926 when he was transferred to the British Section of the Palestine Police
7 Quantity of Various Letters
8 Copy of article Going Beserk Black and Tans in Palestine
9 2 Royal Mint Boxes of issue for medals
Medals are Queen Elizabeth Obverse Correct Impressed naming so issued sometime after 1953

William DOUGLAS, born in New Deer 27th April 1890, son of James Charleson DOUGLAS, and Jane DAVIDSON.
William was a cook in the British Navy. He married 1st time Miss Josephine GRIMALDI (she died). On the 28th July 1921, he married Rosine SIMONDI in ANTIBES FRANCE. They had 2 children, a girl Suzanne Françoise, and a boy Marcel (who married ???). William died in SANTOS BRAZIL on the 18th February 1929.

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Comment by James Douglas on May 13, 2015 at 21:32

Just came across your blog regarding James C Douglas in the Palestine Police Force and your other notes regarding William Douglas who was born in New Deer (1890) and died in Brazil (1929). These two Douglases were brothers.
I also have been looking into William Douglas as part of my family history and (if you are interested) can provide a few more details.
1. William's parents (James C Douglas and Jane Davidson) were married in Glasgow in 1889. It appears that Jane returned to her family home in Aberdeenshire to have her first born – William – in 1890 (she apparently did the same for the second child Jane but subsequent children, including James Charleson Douglas, were born in Glasgow).
2. William is recorded as part of the family in the Glasgow censuses (censi ?? what is the plural of census??) of 1891 and 1901 but not in 1911. By this time he would have been 21yo and therefore likely to have left the family home for one reason or another.
3. I have no information regarding what William was doing in the years between 1911 and 1915 (actually between 1901 and 1915) but through following up on the website post that you quote (curiousfox?) regarding William I have discovered that in September 1915 he crossed the USA- Canada border at Niagara Falls, in the company of two friends, and about a week later they all enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (2nd Canadian Mounted Rifles) at Hamilton, Ontario.
4. On his enlistment his occupation as given on the “Attestation” is “Chief Cook”. From what I have learned of his career after the war this was likely to have been on board ship.
5. From the Attestation he declares that he has no previous military experience (one of his friends had) but he was given the rank of Sergeant. From enquiries I think that this means that he was given the rank of “Sergeant-Cook” which seemed to be the norm for those in charge of a field kitchen.
6. I have no evidence for this but I believe that he never left Canada during the war (one of his friends certainly did) and I suspect that he acted as a trainer for those going overseas.
7. On 6th January 1919 (just two months after the Armistice) he and one of his old friends join the SS Byron in New York on the New York to Buenos Aires run carrying passengers, post and freight. On the crew manifest he is described as “Chief Cook”
8. There are other trips on the Byron but in 1922 he is found in the crew manifest of the SS Vandyck, sister ship to the Byron, where he is described as “Chef”. Again the route of the ship is generally New York to Buenos Aires and back with other stops at Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Bahia and other places.
9. He remains the “Chef” on the Vandyck (with a couple of short interludes for getting married etc. ) until 1929 when (sadly) he dies, aged 39, either in Santos, Brazil or on board ship with Santos being the next port of call.
10. I have more details about his marriage(s) and children but these are little bit personal at the moment (his son is still alive) so I won't include them here.
As for James Charleson Douglas, he is described on his marriage certificate in 1928 as “Police Officer” and it has taken a lot of time and sideways thinking to come up with the Glasgow Herald article which describes him as an “..officer in the Palestine Police”. I believe that he died in Ayr so it is not surprising that an Ayr based dealer in militaria has acquired his records and medals.
That's it for the moment, I hope you find this interesting. As I said I have just found your blog but I intend to peruse it over the next few days to see who else is being investigted. Who knows what might turn up.

James Douglas

Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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