Robert Ewing Douglas GC (EGM exchanger)

b. 07/04/1906 Falkirk, Scotland. d. 10/08/1959 Hackney, London.

DATE AND PLACE OF GC ACTION: 13/06/1930 Kohat, India.

Robert Ewing Douglas (1906-1959) was born on 7th April 1906 in Stirlingshire, Scotland,son of James and Euphemia Douglas, though little else is known about his childhood and schooling. He decided to enlist in the RAF at the age of 17 in 1923 and by 1930 had risen to the rank of Leading Aircraftman and was serving in India.

Robert E Douglas GC

On 13th June 1930 in Kohat, India, an aircraft loaded with bombs crashed shortly after take-off, bursting into flames. Douglas was first on the scene and found the gunner lying near the wreckage with his clothes burning. Using an extinguisher, Douglas put out the fire and, after disentangling part of the gun equipment from the injured man, dragged him clear. With the assistance of another airman who had arrived on the scene, and after subduing a renewed burst of fire from the man’s clothes, they got him in an ambulance. Then Douglas turned his attention to the pilot in the burning machine; he had approached to within 12 yards of the wreckage when the first of the bombs exploded. Now realising that there was no hope of the pilot still being alive, he started to get clear and was 30 yards away when a second bomb exploded.

Douglas was awarded the Empire Gallantry Medal of the Military Division on 27th March 1941. He served in the Second World War and was commissioned on 20th December 1940 as a Flying Officer. He was also then entitled to the exchange of the newly created George Cross for his EGM. Robert retired from the RAF in December 1945.

Robert retired to, and settled in North London, where he passed in Hackney on 10th August 1959, aged just 53. His burial place is currently unknown. His GC, India General Service Medal 1908-35 with Mentioned in Despatches oakleaf, Defence Medal 1939-45, War Medal 1939-45 and 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal are held by the National War Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh Castle.