Edward Cecil McDougall

Rank Rifleman
Service No. 551189
Date of Death 3rd January 1917
Age 25
Regiment/Service 2nd/16th London Regiment (Queen's Westminster Rifles)

Edward Cecil McDougall was born in Welling in 1891.  He and his two older brothers, John and Malcolm lived with their parents John and Harriett, nee Dengate (who had married at St.Mary’s Church, West Malling, Kent on the 6th September 1887). The boys were all close in age, with only 3 years between them. In the 1891 Census the family were living Woodlands Cottage at 63 Belle Grove, Welling.   The family employed a live-in servant, Louisa Perfect and John Snr. was working for the London County Council as a Civil Engineer

Edward came from an educated family of Engineers.  His father, uncle and grandfather (who had moved to London from Inverness with his young wife) had all been Civil Engineers.  All three Brothers attended the Blackheath Proprietory School.  Both Edward and his eldest brother, John, would go on to study Civil Engineering at Goldsmith’s College, New Cross.  His other brother would study Chemistry at Bromley School of Art.

By the time Edward was 9 the family had moved from Welling to 98 Lee Road in Lewisham and by the age of 18 the family had moved again to a large detached house in Bromley – ‘Arlington’ 19 Bromley Common.

We know very little of Edward’s military record other than he was a rifleman n the 2/16th Battalion, the Queens Westminster Rifles, the London Regiment, Service number 551189. This Battalion was part of the 179th Brigade, 60th (2/2nd) London Division. The Battalion had been formed in London in August 1914 and remained in the U.K. until April 1916 when it was transferred for internal security services in Ireland following the Easter Rising. The Battalion were stationed near Macroom, Co. Cork.

They were then sent to France in June 1916 but saw no action and were then transferred to Salonika arriving on the 25th December 1916. The Salonika front was in Greece on the southern border of Bulgaria who were allies of Germany. It is a little known part of the Great War and the British were only there because of French insistence to be part of a multinational force that included, Greeks, Serbians, Russians and others. Actually the front in Salonika changed very little until mid/late 1918 when command was taken over by the French General Franchet D’Esperey. Obviously this name was difficult for the British troops to pronounce so it was soon changed by them to Desperate Frankie!

Edward died aged 25 on the 3rd January 1917 only nine days after arriving in Salonika and probably saw no action. It is possible that Edward died of malaria, – a serious problem in Salonika – over 162,000 of the British forces succumbed to the disease,  many of whom died. .

His brother, Malcolm died just 6 months later on 4th July 1917.  His parents were by then living at Linton House in Sedlescombe, in the village where Malcolm’s mother had been born.  The eldest brother, John, survived the war.

Edward is buried in the Lembet Road Military Cemetery, Thessalonika, Greece.

The War Memorial pictured here which commemorates Malcolm and his brother Edward is from St. John the Baptist Parish Church, Seddlescombe and was built by their uncle, James Dengate and his son, Frank. Their father, John, is also buried in the Churchyard, having died in July 1919.

This story has been researched by volunteers.  We have taken every effort to ensure its accuracy. If you are related to this soldier, or if you have any further information, please do get in touch.

The East Wickham and Welling War Memorial Trust will be adding Edward McDougall’s name to our war memorial over the centenary of the First World War.

Commemorated at Home
Sedlescombe War Memorial St John’s Church, Sedlescombe

Commonwealth War Graves Commission :cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/625128/McDOUGALL,%20EDWARD%20CECIL

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