4TH AUGUST 1916 AGE 30


[Mr W.H. Davison, Mayor of Kensington, writes: - "I have just received the enclosed poem, written at the front by a brother officer in memory of Captain Allan MacDougall, of the Royal Fusiliers, who was recently killed in action. He had just written the message in his pocket-book: - 'O.C. - - Royal Fusiliers - Relief complete,' but was killed before he was able to sign the memorandum. Captain MacDougall was born in North Uist, in the Hebrides. From there he went to New Zealand, whence he came to New College, Oxford, as a Rhodes scholar, obtaining a First in History. He was gazetted as a subaltern in the - Royal Fusiliers in October 1914."] (N.B. censorship meant that The Times couldn't print the number of the battalion, which was the 22nd.)

Not where in grey surges of unnumbered miles
Rises the Coronach of the Hebrides;
Nor far away where molten sunlight smiles
On Southern Seas;
Not from the cloistered strife of Academe,
Spent with its subtle warfare, bowed with years
Of honoured labour, did'st thou pass supreme
Amongst thy peers:
But in the blasting hurricane of the Fray,
Deaf to its roar, unheeding of its toll,
Humbly before the Altar did'st thou lay
Thy splendid Soul.
So thou art gone, but who that lives can mourn
The promise of thy manhood, who by fire
Tried and accepted, did'st endure to scorn
The world's desire?
Rather we pray that we who hold the fort
May with an equal courage pace our beat,
Till, unashamed, we can at last report
"Relief complete."
August 3, 1916 P.H.Y.

The above was printed in The Times on 18 August 1916, ten days later the newspaper printed another tribute, from "an Oxford correspondent" who wrote that, having taken a First in English (not history), MacDougall,

"was appointed successively Assistant Lecturer in English at University College, Nottingham, Assistant Lecturer at the University of Belfast, and Lecturer at Bedford College, London. On the outbreak of war he enlisted, soon received a commission in the Royal Fusiliers, and became a first-rate officer. His high spirits and sense of humour and his union of courage and resource made him a leader of men. He was a faithful friend and a most loveable character."