Douglas Haig RUSSELL DCM

RUSSELL, Douglas Haig

Service Numbers: SX500266, DX87
Enlisted: 28 October 1939, Darwin, Northern Territory
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 2nd/3rd Field Regiment
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, Australia, 20 January 1917
Home Town: Clarence Park, South Australia
Schooling: Black Forest Primary School, South Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Natural causes, Murray Bridge, South Australia, Australia, 7 May 2012, aged 95 years
Cemetery: Murray Bridge (Adelaide Road) Cemetery, S.A.
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World War 2 Service

28 Oct 1939: Enlisted Private, SX500266, Darwin, Northern Territory
29 Oct 1939: Involvement Private, DX87, Enlistment/Embarkation WW2
29 Oct 1939: Involvement Private, SX500266
12 Apr 1941: Honoured Distinguished Conduct Medal, "Operation Lustre" Greece 1941, For Great coolness and control at the Battle of Vevi, fought at KLEIDI PASS
16 Oct 1943: Promoted Sergeant, 2nd/3rd Field Regiment
12 Oct 1945: Discharged Sergeant, SX500266, 2nd/3rd Field Regiment
29 Mar 1946: Enlisted Sergeant, SX500266, London Victory March Contingent
18 Apr 1946: Embarked Sergeant, SX500266, London Victory March Contingent
9 Sep 1946: Discharged Sergeant, SX500266, London Victory March Contingent

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Biography contributed by Sarah Grigg

Douglas Haig Russell was born in Clarence Park, South Australia on 20 January 1917 to Lloyd and Amy Maude Russell (nee Lockyer).

Doug was the youngest of four children. The family lived at Clarence Park, South Australia. Doug attended school at Black Forest until the age of 14.

Doug’s first job was at Simpson and Sons Ltd in Gawler Place until he was 21 years old. He then got a job in Darwin, Northern Territory building the army barracks.

Doug enlisted for service with the 2/3 Field Regiment at Darwin on 28 October 1939. During his service, he travelled to places like the Middle East, England, Greece and Crete. He was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) for “Great coolness & control at Kleidi Pass”, Greece on 12 April 1941. Doug was selected as one of six South Australian Army representatives to travel to London for the Victory March in 1946.

Doug married Joan Hewett on 5 December 1949. Joan was a member of the Hewett Sisters Harmony Trio. The sisters sang in the Cheer Up Hut during World War 2.

Doug and Joan had seven children; Denis, Janet, Kaye, Peter, John, Anne and Lee. They raised their family at Klemzig, South Australia.

Doug built a shack at Meningie, South Australia in 1964 and the family would often travel there for holidays. Doug would take the children fishing and sometimes they would get the boat out and venture across the Coorong to the Southern Ocean.

Doug retired at the age of 60 and moved to Murray Bridge, South Australia. He had a keen interest in birds, especially Gouldian finches, and built many aviaries in the backyard.

Doug died in the Murray Bridge Hospital on 7 May 2012. His funeral service was conducted in the Minge Chapel in Murray Bridge. His ashes are buried at the Murray Bridge Cemetery.

Acknowledgements: K Grigg and J Russell