Douglas McMillan PATON

Poppy

PATON, Douglas McMillan

Service Number: 2272
Enlisted: 12 July 1915, Claremont, Tasmania
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 26th Infantry Battalion
Born: Hobart, Tasmania, 23 September 1890
Home Town: Hobart, Tasmania
Schooling: Port Cygnet State School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Died of Wounds, Belgium, 29 October 1917, aged 27 years
Cemetery: Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery
Plot XXI, Row BB, Grave 12.
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bruny Roll of Honour, Clarence Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

12 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2272, Claremont, Tasmania
27 Sep 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 2272, 26th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
27 Sep 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 2272, 26th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Hororata, Melbourne
30 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 2272, 26th Infantry Battalion, Pozières
1 Oct 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 2272, 26th Infantry Battalion, Flers/Gueudecourt
29 Oct 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 2272, 26th Infantry Battalion, 2nd Passchendaele

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Biography

Father  Alexander Paton and Mother Agnes (nee Spaven)

Wife           Juliet Pearl Gordon, living at Bellerive, Hobart, Tasmania.
Daughter   Agnes Agathea Paton,  Bellerive, Hobart, Tasmania

Described on enlisting as 25 years old; married; 5' 6 1/4" tall; 153 lbs;
dark complexion; brown eyes; black hair; Church of England.

Previous service 6 months New Guinea Expedition, discharged time expired.

8/7/1915             Completed medical fit for service

23/9/1915           Commanding Officer appointed Douglas to 26th Battalion,
                           for training at Claremont Camp, Tasmania

27/9/1915           Embarked from Hobart on board  HMAT A20 Hororata
                           as a Sergeant with the 26th Infantry Battalion.

The 26th Battalion was raised at Enoggera, Queensland.
In April 1915 from recruits enlisted in Queensland and Tasmania, and formed part of the 7th Brigade. It left Australia in July, and, after training in Egypt, landed at Gallipoli on 12 September. At Gallipoli, the 26th played a purely defensive role and at various times was responsible for the defence of Courtney’s and Steele’s Posts, and Russell’s Top. It withdrew from the peninsula on 12 December.

5/2/1916             Taken on strength into 26th Infrantry Battalion
                           Tel-el-Kebir, Egypt

After another stint in Egypt, the 7th Brigade proceeded to France as part of the 2nd Australian Division in March 1916.

15/3/1916           Proceeded to join the British Expeditionary Forces, ex Alexandria
21/3/1916           Disembarked at Marseilles, France

3/6/1916             Promoted to Temporay Corporal

In concert with the 28th Battalion, the 26th mounted the first trench raid undertaken by Australian troops on the Western Front on 6 June. The Battalion fought in its first major battle around Pozières between 28 July and 7 August.

30/7/1916           Promoted to Temporary Sergeant

5/8/1916             Gunshot wound to foot, Etaples, France
5/8/1916             Reverted to Corporal
6/8/1916             Admitted and transferred to 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station
7/8/1916             Transferred to 26th General Hospital, Etaples, France
12/8/1916           Embarked on  HS Deippe  at Calais for England
13/8/1916           Admitted to 1st Northern General Hospital, England - gun shot wound to toes
7/9/1916             Discharged to Depot

25/9/1916           Taken on strength - reclassified

26/9/1916           Marched out to 7th Training Battalion, Perham Downs, England

After a short spell in Belgium, the 2nd Division came south in October to attack again in the Somme Valley. The 26th Battalion took part in two attacks to the east of Flers, both of which floundered in mud and slush.

1/1/1917             Promoted to Temporary Sergeant, Tidworth, England

In early 1917, the 26th Battalion joined the follow-up of the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line and attacked at Warlencourt (1-2 March) and Lagincourt (26 March). For his valorous actions at Lagincourt, Captain Percy Cherry was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. On 3 May, the Battalion was also involved in the second attempt to breach the Hindenburg Line defences around Bullecourt.

30/7/1917           Reverts to Corporal on proceeding overseas Rollestone, France
31/7/1917           Admitted to Australian Division Base Depot in Havre, France

2/8/1917             Proceeded to join unit - 26th Battalion
4/8/1917             Rejoined Battalion, France
5/8/1917             Promoted to Sergeant with 26th Battalion

Later that year the focus of the AIF’s operations switched to Belgium. There, the 26th battalion fought in the battle of Menin Road on 20 September, and participated in the capture of Broodseinde Ridge on 4 October.

28/10/1917         Wounded in action, Belgium
28/10/1917         Admitted with Gunshot wound to left shoulder, shattered jaw and forehead
                           3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, Belgium

29/10/1917         Died of wounds in the 3rd Canadian Casualty Clearing Station
                           from gunshot wounds to the left shoulder and a shattered jaw.

25/3/1918           Director of Graves confirmed Douglas is buried in:
                           Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Belgium
                           1 3/4 miles south-west of Poperinghe, Belgium
                           Plot XXI, Row BB, Grave 12

Medals:
WWI Star 1914-15 (2856); British War medal (___); Victory medal (3059)
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (337489).

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.   18 September 2014.  Lest we forget.

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