Douglas Joseph McIntosh Cameron
188th Siege Battery. Royal Garrison Artillery
Died 16th October 1917 age 24
Gunner D. Cameron – R.G.A.
This is Douglas Joseph McIntosh Cameron, Gunner (No.110953) in the 188th Siege Bty. Royal Garrison Artillery. He was born on 4 October 1894 at 70 Summer Street, Aberdeen, son of Donald McIntosh who was in the mounted police, and Margaret Mitchell Cameron who came from Kincardine O’Neil. In 1901 Douglas aged 6 was living in the village of Kincardine O’Neil, though as a “boarder” in the household of someone who appears not to be a relative, and was attending school. On 22 November 1913 he married Helen Ann Dow at Tarland, Helen’s address at the time being Newton of Melgum. Cameron volunteered for service in 1915. He was then just over 21years old and gave his occupation as “tailor”. Helen later resided at Boig, Tarland and at Rose Cottage, Kincardine O’Neil.
A fire-damaged version of Cameron’s service record is one of the few records of ordinary soldiers on our memorial to have survived bombing in 1940. It indicates that he was not altogether easy to handle from a disciplinary point of view (among other things “making improper reply to a N.C.O.”) and shows that he was home for quite an extended period, between 16 August 1916 and 8 January 1917, though it is not clear why. He was with the British Expeditionary Force from his return on 9 January 1917 and is recorded as being in temporary command of no. 241 siege battery in May 1917. Siege batteries were deployed behind the front line, using heavy howitzers and large calibre shells for the purpose of attacking enemy artillery and destroying lines of supply. The precise circumstances of Cameron’s death are not revealed by his record which simply states that he died of wounds in France on 16 October 1917 at the age of 24. He is buried or commemorated at Spoilbank Cemetery. He left behind him his mother (by then living at The Square, Tarland), his widow Helen, and three young children – Violet A. H. Dow aged 9, (a step-daughter perhaps), Evelyn M. M. Cameron aged 3 and Douglas E.D. Cameron aged 2.