Museum of the Manchester Regiment
The Men Behind the Medals

William Douglas

William Douglas :

William Douglas : India General Service Medal with clasp 'Burma 1930-32'

India General Service Medal with clasp 'Burma 1930-32'

William was born in around October 1905 in Liverpool. His father was called James and his mother was Annie. He had 3 older brothers: Edward, John and Joseph, and a younger sister called 'Marget'.

In 1901 James had worked as a woodworking machinist, but 10 years later he had become a chimney cleaner. The family lived at 24 Myers Street, off Smithdown Lane in West Derby, Liverpool.

William joined the Manchester Regiment in Liverpool on the 22nd April 1924. He was working as a general labourer when he enlisted. He was given the service number 3519605.

We know very little about William's service. By 1931 he was serving in the 2nd Battalion, based in Secunderabad, India. They had been stationed in Burma between 1925 and 1929; we don't know whether William had spent any time in that country.

In December 1930 a rebellion broke out in several regions of Burma. The authorities requested more troops from India to help restore control, so the 2nd Battalion returned there in June 1931. William and the rest of the battalion took part in patrols of the jungle and villages in its allotted area until the rebellion was brought to an end by early 1932. William returned to Secunderabad in early February.

William had joined the Army for 7 years to be followed by 5 in the Army Reserve. This could be changed to 8 years followed by 4 if a man was overseas at the end of his service, as William was. This suggests he will have left the 2nd Battalion in around April 1932. We know he had been transferred to the Reserve by September 1933.

As a Reservist William could find a home and a job, but could be called back to the Army in an emergency. He was never needed and his service ended on the 21st April 1936. We don't know what job he had or whether he ever married.

It would seem that William missed Army life, as he reenlisted just 2 weeks later on the 5th May. He joined the Royal Corps of Signals. We don't know how long he served with them or anything about his life afterwards.

Museum of the Manchester Regiment
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Heritage Wharf
Ashton-under-Lyne
OL7 0QA

Telephone: 0161 343 2878
Email: Portland.Basin@tameside.gov.uk
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Trustees of the Manchester Regiment Museum & Archive and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council