• Simon Biggs

Pte Stanley Robert McDougall VC (1890-1968) - Pages of the Sea


On 11 November 2018, tens of thousands of people took part in Pages of the Sea – a commissioned art project by filmmaker Danny Boyle, inviting people to gather on thirty-two beaches around the UK for a nationwide gesture of remembrance for the men and women who left their home shores during the First World War.

Weymouth Beach

Pte Stanley Robert McDougall (1890-1968). Won V.C. for single-handedly repulsing German attack

Born in Tasmania, McDougall enlisted in 1915, joining the 47th Infantry Battalion, Australian Imperial Force and was sent to the Western Front. In March 1918 at Dernancourt, McDougall, then a sergeant, repulsed a German attack that had breached the allied lines. Single-handed, he charged the enemy's second wave with rifle and bayonet, killing seven and capturing a machine-gun. He fired on others until his ammunition ran out, after which he seized a bayonet and killed four more. He then used a Lewis gun on the enemy, killing others and enabling his comrades to capture 33 prisoners. Eight days later, at the same place, this non-commissioned officer won the Military Medal for taking over his platoon when its commander was killed. After the war became an officer with the Tasmanian Forestry Department, performing outstanding work fighting bushfires.

McDougall was among more than 120,000 ANZACS who passed through Weymouth between 1915-19. The area was chosen as the base for the ANZACS to convalesce, with four camps set up in Chickerell, Westham, Littlemoorand Portland. 87 troops are buried in Melcombe Regis Cemetery.


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