Private Thomas McDougall

Private Thomas Soulsby McDougall, 1st/7th ( Territorial ) Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. He was killed in action in Belgium on 26th October 1917 during the Battle of Third Ypres and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, Flanders, Belgium. On that date the Battalion was in Frontline positions in the Houthoulst Forest sector and were tasked to capture the German positions at ” Angle Row ” and ” Aden Trench “. Despite the artillery barrage the heavy machine gun fire made it impossible to hold the position and casualties were heavy. 10 Officers and 96 Other Ranks were killed and 1 Officer and 150 Other Ranks were wounded. Many of the Officer casualties were caused by sniper fire. The photographs give some idea of the atrocious ground conditions which were mostly caused by the heavy shelling destroying the fragile Flanders drainage system. The colour photo shows the impressive Memorial raised to the 50th ( Northumbrian ) Division of which the Battalion was part until February 1918 when it was transferred to the 42nd ( East Lancashire ) Division as the Pioneer Battalion. It was erected near the village of Weltije in the Ypres Salient where nearby on 26th April 1915 the Division had fought its first action of the War only days after arriving on the Continent.

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