Stanley McDougall

Stanley Robert McDougall, VC, MM (23 July 1889 – 7 July 1968) was an Australian recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest award given to British and Commonwealth forces for gallantry in the face of the enemy.[1]

Stanley Robert McDougall
Sergeant Stanley Robert McDougall c. 1917
Born(1889-07-23)23 July 1889
Hobart, Tasmania
Died7 July 1968(1968-07-07) (aged 78)
Scotsdale, Tasmania
Buried
Norwood Crematorium, Canberra
AllegianceAustralia
Service/branchAustralian Imperial Force
Years of service1915–1918
RankSergeant
Unit47th Battalion
Battles/warsFirst World War
AwardsVictoria Cross
Military Medal

Early life

The son of the sawmiller John Henry McDougall (1854–1910),[2] and Susannah Ann McDougall (1856–1919), née Cate,[3][4] McDougall was born on 23 July 1889 at Recherche Bay, Tasmania,[5] where he was raised and educated.

In civilian life, he was an amateur boxer,[6] and a blacksmith by trade, and was considered an excellent horseman, an expert marksman, and a competent bushman.[7]

War service

Illness prevented him from enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force to fight in the First World War until 31 August 1915. He was 27 years old and a sergeant in the 47th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force when he performed the actions for which he was awarded the VC.

On 28 March 1918 at Dernancourt, France, when an enemy attack succeeded in securing a foothold in the Allied line, McDougall charged the second wave single-handedly, killing seven men and capturing a machine-gun, which he turned on the attackers, routing them and causing many casualties. He continued his attack until his ammunition ran out, when he seized a bayonet and charged again, killing three men and an officer. Then, using a Lewis gun, he killed many more of the enemy and made it possible for 33 prisoners to be taken. His prompt action saved the line and halted the enemy's advance.[8] The fighting ground where this took place was the location where his younger brother Wallace had been killed some nine months earlier.[9][10]

Eight days later he repelled another enemy attack at the same spot, for which he was awarded the Military Medal.[11]

Later life

On 19 August 1918, he was invested with the Victoria Cross at Windsor Castle by King George V. He returned to Australia and was discharged on 15 December 1918.

McDougall subsequently worked for the Tasmanian Forestry Department and became an inspector in charge of forests in the north-western part of Tasmania. He returned to London in 1956 for the celebration marking 100 years since the establishment of the Victoria Cross. He died on 7 July 1968 at Scottsdale, Tasmania,[12] and was survived by his wife Martha (née Anderson-Harrison), whom he had married in 1926; they had no children.[13] He is buried at Norwood Crematorium, Canberra.

A street in Canberra is named after him. His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Australian War Memorial.[14]

Footnotes

  1. Australian V.Cs., The Sydney Mail, (Wednesday, 23 July 1919), p.10-13; p.12.
  2. Deaths: McDougall, The (Hobart) Mercury, (Monday, 28 March 1910), p.1
  3. Marriages: McDougall—Cate, The (Hobart) Mercury, (Thursday, 26 February 1884), p.1
  4. Deaths: McDougall, The (Hobart) Mercury, (Saturday, 1 March 1919), p.1
  5. Births in the District of Southport, 1889, Tasmanian Archives and Heritage Office Collection.
  6. Boxing, The Tasmanian News, (Thursday, 11 August 1910), p.2.
  7. Williams, J. G. (1986). "Biography – Stanley Robert McDougall – Australian Dictionary of Biography". Australian Dictionary of Biography. The National Centre of Biography at the Australian National University. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  8. "No. 30667". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 April 1918. p. 5354.
  9. "SERGT. McDOUGALL, V.C." The Mercury. CVIII (15, 145). Tasmania, Australia. 11 May 1918. p. 7. Retrieved 30 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  10. "JERRY M'DOUGALL'S V.C." The Daily News. XXXVII (13, 525). Western Australia. 29 June 1918. p. 5. Retrieved 30 October 2017 via National Library of Australia. The scene of the exploit was also the scene on June 7 last of the death in action of Private Wallace McDougall (23), a younger brother, who came under machine-gun fire, and was afterwards caught by a barrage of shells, being blown to atoms.
  11. "Three Tasmanian V.C.'s". The Examiner. LXXXVII (247). Tasmania, Australia. 15 October 1918. p. 2. Retrieved 30 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  12. "Winner of VC dies". The Canberra Times. 42 (12, 047). 8 July 1968. p. 3. Retrieved 30 October 2017 via National Library of Australia.
  13. Williams, J. G. (1986). "Biography – Stanley Robert McDougall – Australian Dictionary of Biography". Australian Dictionary of Biography. The National Centre of Biography at the Australian National University. Retrieved 28 October 2017.
  14. "Military Medal : Sergeant S R McDougall, 47 Battalion, AIF". www.awm.gov.au. Retrieved 2017-10-29.

References

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