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Lieutenant Douglas Fountaine Brodie

Biography of Lieutenant Douglas Fountaine Brodie

Douglas Fountaine Brodie, son of John James and Edith Fountaine Brodie, of 288 Renfrew Street, Charing Cross, Glasgow.

Lieutenant Brodie was one of the original Glasgow Highlanders who had came to France in the ranks of A Company in 1914 as a Private (Regiment No. 1604). A Glasgow University student who had been gassed in October 1915, suffered trench fever and then gunshot wounds in 1917 and had recovered from these events and had been commissioned.

He was awarded the Military Cross (MC) in 1917. His entry from the London Gazette, dated 17 September 1917 read:

2nd Lt. Douglas Fountaine Brodie, High. L.I.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in preparing and successfully carrying out a raid. On three occasions he made a thorough reconnaissance of No Man's Land, penetrating to the enemy's parapet, and on the third occasion shooting two of the enemy who were acting as wiring party. He led the raid in person, with great dash and complete success, accounting for four of the enemy himself, capturing others, and finally withdrawing his party with skill under very difficult conditions.

In September 1918 he was involved in the fighting at Targelle Valley where he and about 60 men found themselves too far forward of the rest of the brigade and had lost contact with any of his brigade due to fog and had sent a message asking for instructions and saying he was digging in - a message was sent back telling him to withdraw but the message never arrived as the messenger had been captured - Brodie sent a further message asking for information as the situation was that German troops were building up in the area and the fog was clearing.

In the better visibility Brodie and his men could see the enemy who under cover of artillery and machine gun fire were moving up the valley towards their location. Their position was surrounded, a few managed to escape but the rest were either captured or killed, Brodie himself avoided capture by feigning death and managed to get away under cover of darkness. He rejoined his battalion and with them prepared for an enemy counterattack that did not happen. The cost of this battle was that the battalion had suffered 350 casualties, 73 of whom had been killed and with previous casualties this brought the battalion fighting strength to 50% in yet another day of terrible loss.

In October the battalion was tasked to move to along the Montay-Neuvilly Road. On the descent down to the river Lieutenant Brodie was killed, his remains along with ten other Glasgow Highlanders are buried in Selridge British Cemetery on the high ground they had just crossed. Lieutenant Douglas Fountaine Brodie was 25 years old at the time of his death.

Summary

Lieutenant Douglas Fountaine Brodie
Rank: Lieutenant
Regiment: Highland Light Infantry
Degree: Student
Awards: Military Cross
Comments: Killed in action, west of Montay, France, 12 October 1918.
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/372, 970, 975
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/25

Sources

Reproduced by kind permission of the Glasgow Highlanders Association, August 2009 Newsletter

London Gazette

Memorial Place: Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Debt of Honour Register

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