Alan Edward Douglas
Serial No. 848
Alan Edward Douglas - Information
Alan was born in Picton to George Edward and Mary Douglas. Not from the area, the Douglas family eventually resided on a property at 9 Bridge St in Erskinville. Alan and his siblings grew up in the Sydney suburbs, attending Newtown Superior Public School. Alan began working as a printer, before joining the colours on the 28th of March 1915 in Liverpool. He then departed Sydney on the HMAT Berrima on the 25th of June 1915 for war service, as part of the 20th Battalion. Alan started a trend, his two brothers Gordon Leslie and George Kenneth joined up in August 1915 and April 1916 respectively.
Alan landed in Egypt, and on the 16th of August, was transported to Gallipoli. Alan experienced the carnage in the trenches, in the heat and later when a blizzard hit the coast. After the campaign was called off, Alan was taken back to Egypt in early January 1916. They were then introduced to the Western Front, a line which had not moved in two years of fighting. The Anzacs were mustered for operations during the Somme Offensive. Here, the 20th Battalion attacked the German position at Pozières in late July. On the night of the 30th of July, Alan and his mates assaulted the German line and captured it. He was in the enemy’s trench firing, when he was hit in the head with a rifle bullet. Alan was later buried at Pozières British Cemetery, Ovillers-La Boisselle Pozières in France.
Alan’s parents were informed of the loss of their son. However, this would not be the only telegram they received. Gordon was killed in action at Bullecourt in April 1917, followed by Kenneth during the Third Battle of Ypres in September. Unfortunately, losing all three sons, they also received none of their effects. George and Mary remained in Erskineville mourning their beloved sons.