yeovil at War

Douglas Drysdale Marnie

Died of pneumonia during training


Douglas Drysdale Marnie was born on 5 June 1900 at Denniston, Glasgow, Scotland. He was the elder son of clothier's assistant James Adam Marnie (1873-1937) and Alice née Drysdale (b1873).

At some point, Douglas moved to Yeovil and became a pupil at the works of the Goldcroft Glove Company in Eastland Road.

Douglas enlisted on 10 May 1918, giving his occupation as a glove manufacturer. He became a Private 2nd Class at the Royal Air Force Recruits Depot with the Service Number 176104.

The Royal Air Force was founded on 1 April 1918, towards the end of the Great War by merging the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

Sadly, at the training depot in Kent, Douglas caught influenza which developed into acute pneumonia. He died at St John's Hospital, Hastings, on 4 July 1918. He was 18½ years old.

The Glasgow Herald reported on 8 July 1918 in its 'Deaths on Service' section "MARNIE.- At St John's Hospital, Hastings, on 4th July, of acute pneumonia, Cadet Douglas Drysdale Marnie, R.A.F., aged 18, elder son of James A and Alice Marnie, 16 Morley Street, Langside. Funeral to-morrow (Tuesday), at 3pm to Cathcart Cemetery; friends desirous of attending kindly intimate to Messrs Wylie & Lochhead, Union Street."

In its edition of 12 July 1918 the Western Gazette reported "News has been received with regret by his many friends in the town of the death of Cadet Douglas Marnie, R.A.F., whose parents reside in Scotland, and which took place at a training centre from pneumonia following influenza. The late Mr Marnie, who was 181/2 years of age, had lived in the town for some time, and was a pupil at the works of the Goldcroft Glove Company. He was actively connected with the Congregational Church, having been assistant secretary to the Sunday School and a lieutenant in the Cadet Company.

The following week the Western Gazette reported "A memorial service to the late Cadet Douglas Marnie, R.A.F., was held in the Princes Street Congregational Church on Sunday morning. The deceased was a keen worker with the B.B. Cadets as a lieutenant of the Company, and was also the Sunday School assistant secretary and a Worker in the Young People’s Society. There was a large and sympathetic congregation, including the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Yeovil Boys’ Brigade Companies, the Baptist Girls’ Life Brigade and the Girl Guides. Appropriate music was played and suitable hymns sung, and during the service the Rev. R Newell feelingly alluded to the following who had been associated with the Boys’ Brigade, and who had given their lives for their country:- Bert Norman, Harry White (lieutenant of the Company), Clarence Tucker, Harry Holland, Stanley Purchase, Ernest Gatehouse and Frank Ostler. Brought up in the home of the Boys’ Brigade movement - he had been member of one of the largest companies in Glasgow - and valued it very much, not only because of the drill, but because it was of a religious foundation and character, and aimed to make strong Christian men of the boys who were associated with it. He (the rev. gentleman) was sorry that the Boys’ Brigade had changed its name to become the Cadet Corps, but he hoped that the Cadet Corps would never change its character, but that it would always remain a religious movement, and so long as the churches appointed its officers it would be so.

Douglas Marnie was interred in Cathcart Cemetery, Glasgow - Grave Q.618 -  and his name is recorded on the War Memorial in the Borough.