David Coley Young AM

b. 05/12/1869 Bombay (now Mumbai), India. d. 12/03/1915 Neuve Chapelle, France.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 31/08/1906 Ferozepore, India.

David C Young AM

David was the only son of three children born to Colonel David Butler and Mary (nee Cronyn), and was born in Bombay where his father was serving. He was educated at Sedbergh School (1883-1884) and then was enrolled at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (1888-1889). He was then commissioned into the Durham Light Infantry in September 1889. He transferred to the 1st Battalion Gurkha Rifles in February 1902, and later that year he married a widow, Sara Jane Ragsdale (nee McMullin) in Tientsin, China. They had two sons and a daughter. Having been Aide-de-Camp to General Sir O’Moore Creagh VC in Northern China, he returned to India. As a Major from 1907 he served in Simla and that year passed his French Interpreter exam. He was an excellent linguist, sportsman, especially polo, cricket, football, tennis and billiards and musician.

When war broke out he was on leave in England and joined the Scottish Rifles on 23rd August. Two months later her went to France and was attached to the 2/3th Gurkhas with whom he served until his own regiment arrived from India. He was home on leave for a short time in February 1915 before returning to the front in March. He was gazetted to Lieutenant-Colonel after his death and mentioned in despatches by Sir John French 31 May 1915 for his ‘gallant and courageous’ behaviour. He was killed in action trying to save the life of a wounded Leicestershire Regiment junior officer. His widow returned to the United States after his death.




A full description of the explosion and of the gallantry of various officers and others to whom Albert Medals were awarded in 1911 will be found in the London Gazette of 26th September 1911. Captain Ross discovered the fire, and with a detachment of his regiment entered the magazine compound with a small hand-engine fed from tanks in the magazine, and attempted to put out the fire. He also worked at getting the steam-engine into position. Major Young, as General Anderson’s Brigade Major, was constantly with the General in positions of great danger. In particular he joined General Anderson at a critical moment by the door of No. 8 Cell, from which the gunpowder was being removed, and remained with the General throughout the rest of the period of danger. Captain Battye assisted in the removal of the gunpowder from No. 8 Cell. He also, with Staff-Serjeant Fitzpatrick, directed the operations for piercing two holes through the masonry of the roof of Cell No. 9, where the small-arms ammunition was burning, and succeeded in getting the hose through these holes so as to play on the burning ammunition. By this means a check on the fire in No. 9 was effected. Both men were conspicuous throughout the day in the magazine enclosure.