Margate Gallant Young Officer

Featured in the June 2017 handbook.

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With thanks to Alf ”Legs” Beeching

General sympathy will be felt for Mr and Mrs F J Doughty of 73 Cornwall Gardens Cliftonville, who have suffered another bereavement in the death of their eldest son, Lieutenant Robert Cecil Doughty serving in France as an Armaments Officer of the Royal Flying Corps. It was only a month ago that we recorded in the Gazette, the Posthumous award of the Military Cross to Mr and Mrs Doughty’s second son the late Lieutenant George Marbrook Doughty, Machine Gun Corps. Readers will recall the circumstances under which Lieutenant Doughty, sacrificed his life in his Country’s cause and will remember the generous words which, General Owens employed when in Cecil Square on Sunday morning early in the year, when he handed the Military Cross to the brave Officer’s father. On Friday evening a War Office Telegram to Mr and Mrs Doughty announced the death of their eldest son The notification gave no details but a kindly and sympathetic letter to the parents from a brother Officer –Lieutenant-came to hand this week and contained the

following-: I cannot tell you how much we miss him and regret his death. He was held in the very highest esteem by every member of the Squadron from Commanding Officer downwards and it is difficult to realise that he will be with us no more. Just how the accident happened it is impossible to say. He was testing a gun -:He received a fracture to the base of his scull and after being struck did not regain consciousness and knew nothing about the accident.

The Medical Officer was visiting the Squadron at the time and was in attendance Immediately and everything that could have been done to save him was done, it may be of some comfort to you that after death all the necessary duties and rites were performed by those who cared for him. We laid him in our little medical hut and I gathered a few Spring Flowers from a ruined

garden close by and placed a Nosegay on his breast. He is resting now in an Orchard and soon, the petals of the apple blossom will be sprinkled over his grave. A hill stretches away to the east and when the war is over he will be resting in a really beautiful spot with other British soldiers. In asking you to accept my sympathy I am voicing the sentiment of every Officer and soldier in the squadron. Lieutenant RC Doughty was 28 years of age. He joined the army in May 1915 going into the Royal Engineers after having been rejected on no fewer than 6 occasions .For a year he did valuable work as a dispatch rider and later obtained his commission as a second Lieutenant in the Royal Flying corps. In April last year he suffered a shot wound in his right lung and for some time he was in hospital. It was regretted that prior to his final departure to the front he was not permitted to come home and visit his family and friends, The young Officer like his father and his distinguished brother was an old boy of Holy Trinity School, Margate. For about 3 years after leaving his studies he was engaged in his father’s business at Bournemouth. Until quite recently he wrote regular letters home, the last of which, by a sad coincidence arrived on the same day that the brief message from the war office was received by his parents. Lieutenant Doughty was much liked for his modest and lovable disposition and his death will be deeply deplored by his schoolmates and those who were associated with him in business and social life in the borough.

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