Company Quartermaster Sergeant Douglas Ritchie
Rank or Title
Date of Birth
7 Jul 1885
Date of Death
15 Jan 1916
War time / or Pre War occupation
Place of Birth
World War I Address
Place of Death
War Memorial Location
Soldier or Civilian
Company Quartermaster-Sgt Douglas Ritchie, Army Service Corps, died in the Fulham Military Hospital on January 15th, 1916, from double pneumonia.
The 30-year-old Scotsman was the brother-in-law of Charles Cameron, of 51 Belmont Road, Luton, proprietor of Camerons (Luton) Ltd, a printing company based in Cheapside. Douglas Ritchie had been a co-director of the firm until he gave up his business interests to take up aviation. He had gained his pilot's licence before suffering an unfortunate breakdown in health.
Nevertheless, the enthusiastic motorist and former member of the Herts Yeomanry volunteered for war service, and in October 1914 was accepted in the Mechanical Transport section of the Army Service Corps. Within three weeks he was sent to France as a section commander with the rank of sergeant in the 79th Coy, A.S.C. (M.T.), attached to the 1st Indian Cavalry Division.
While on active service he was promoted to QMS, and he remained at the Front until February 1915, when he failed to shake off an attack of influenza and had to go into hospital. He was in five different hospitals in France before being brought back to England. After a stay in hospital at Chelsea and in a convalescent home at Putney, he returned to Luton on a fortnight's sick leave.
After that he was marked down as unfit for foreign service, but he continued to act on the staff as a Company QMS at Wandsworth Road, Fulham, until a week or so before his death. What he thought was a cold turned out to be pneumonia, and he was taken to the military hospital at Fulham on January 8th, 1916. There, double pneumonia set in and his condition deteriorated and, after two hours of unconsciousness, he passed away at 4.30 on the afternoon of January 15th.
His body was taken to King's Cross station to be carried by train to Scotland for burial at his home town of Leslie, north of Kirkcaldy in Fife.