Rank : Lance Corporal 20291 Royal Welsh Fusiliers 20th Battalion
Enlisted : 16th January 1915
Discharged sick : 14th September 1916
Newspaper report following Douglas McNaughton’s funeral . . .
McNaughton – Friday morning, 24th February – Mr Douglas McNaughton, Prince Llewelyn Terrace, Dolwyddelan died aged 26 years. He’d serviced his country as a soldier during the last War, which had a detrimental effect on his health. He was a young man who was loved by everybody, gentlemanly, considerate, kind, full of life despite his constant pains. It was so sad to see this beautiful lad deteriorating in the prime of his life. He had a beautiful military funeral on Wednesday afternoon, when his fellow brothers in arms carried his coffin, which was covered by the Union Jack. Each of the soldiers also carried a small bouquet of flowers. Despite the utter devastation of the event, it was a beautiful sight. The funeral was taken by Rev J Llewelyn Richards, and ex-soldier Llew Owen played the ‘the Lost Cord’ on the cornet. All the Soldiers then placed their Snowdrops into the dark grave, in salute of their dear departed comrade. We truly sympathise with this family on their heartfelt loss.
The families memories of Douglas McNaughton’s final years, tell of the pain behind the newspaper report. Paul Griffiths, a direct descendant writes . . .
Eighteen-year-old Douglas Graham McNaughton enlisted on the 16th January 1915. He joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers 20th (Reserve) Battalion (20291). This Battalion was formed in North Wales as a Reserve unit and moved to Kinmel Park (Rhyl). On the 1st September 1916, the 20th Bn, with the 18th Bn, became the 63rd Training Reserve Battalion, in 14th Reserve Brigade.
A few weeks after this move, Douglas Graham was discharged as ‘sick’ on the 14th September 1916. It took several years for the truth of his discharge, to come to light. My Aunt Georgina told me that a few years after the war, my grandmother – Mannie Grey McNaughton, saw a large scar on her brother Douglas’ leg. She called for their mother, and Douglas was made to explain all. He’d been involved in an ‘accident’ during his training at the Kinmel Camp, and had ended up with shrapnel in his leg. He was operated on at the camp, and made to sign a declaration that he would not tell anyone about what had happened. He’d suffered the pain and trauma in silence, with the shrapnel slowly poisoning his body. This had a very bad effect on him for the rest of his life.
On the 24th February 1922, Douglas Graham McNaughton finally gave in to his constant pains which followed his accident in the war. He died aged only 26 years, as a result of ‘Tuberculosis’ and ‘exhaustion’.
Born : Born, and lived in Dolwyddelan at time of enlisting.
Died : 24th February 1922, aged 26, at home
Buried at : Bryn y Bedd, Dolwyddelan
Son of : David Gordon and Elizabeth McNaughton
Parents home : 4 Prince Llewelyn Terrace
Numerous poems were written in his memory . . .
IN LOVING MEMORY of DOUGLAS
Dearest son of Mr & Mrs McNaughton, Prince Llewelyn Street, Dolwyddelan
Dearest brother, easily loved,
Earned the love of all around,
Natural beauty did adorn thee
Beautiful cheeks, so rosy round.
Like a sunny primrose groweth
Full of summer bloom in tow;
Deep within, throughout his short life
Shone the greater good with glow.
Trickery never touched his two lips
Honest as the sun was he,
Snake like deceit was never witnessed
under his snowdrop purity.
Douglas’ sorrow, deep and heartfelt,
Touched by all, who knew him well,
Like an April shower crying
Over his Coffin, all who dwell.
Brave soldier! And his comrades
Re-united by his grave
Tearful longing so apparent
Shivering sorrow by the brave.
Beauty in their last procession
To the Lord’s Everlasting rest,
But in darkness lies this soldier
And his sacrifice lives on, at best.
Learned brother! Good and busy,
Gave and saved, his all did he.
Life was like a Bank of Savings
Given to share, in Heaven’s beauty.
Toil was never felt as weakness,
Work became his daily spark,
All his tools were well respected
And his hands, well free of marks.
Charming Churchgoer, also principled,
Sealed within his glowing heart,
Shut away from shameful streams
that never got a chance to start.
Long he lived on the banks of Jordan
– stayed he did, without a cry,
And when called to cross the river
Crossed he did, as the waves stood by.
Beautiful was the day of burial,
Proudly mourned by all who came;
Proud, not only on the graveside
But in life, in full, by name.
Longing lives, without his company
Sad to see him lying still,
But we know that from the darkness
He’ll come again, with God’s full Will
William Morgan Jones
Literally (not poetically!) translated by Paul Griffiths
IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE
DOUGLAS GRAHAM McNAUGHTON
Sleep my friend from all thy sorrows
Peaceful in the Lord,
Though my harp no more hath music
With one broken cord.
I have lost a friend so faithful
Heaven gained my loss,
Though can bear the Crown of Glory
When I bear my cross
Douglas name is here written
Deeply in my heart.
When the moment, sad in sorrow
Came, t’was hard to part.
But the grave will only hide thee
From the woe’s and pain,
Heaven’s blessings are to greet thee
Sleep thy sleep in Dolwyddelan
Sleep thy powerful rest,
Well I know that all in Jesus
Are asleep and blest.
Sleep my friend from all thy sorrows,
Peaceful in the Lord,
In thy golden harp in glory
There’s no broken Chord.
Five and twenty milestones homeward
Days like shadows flew,
When thy life was like the lily,
Whitened by the dew.
Now beneath the rays of Glory
In the summer house above,
Douglas dwell in pure sunshine
Crowned with everlasting love.
In deepest sympathy
HIS COMRADES, EX-SERVICE MEN