Diaries of Daniel Dougal, which detail his service as an army doctor on the Western Front during the First World War. Dougal rose to become Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services, 34th Division of the British Army, and his diaries provide important information on the operation of Army medical services, as well as behind the scenes glimpses into the life of an RAMC officer on active service.
The diaries are typed and include a small number of illustrations and maps. There are four diaries, which have been bound as two volumes: part 1 covering April 1915-1917; part 2, 8 May 1917-25 January 1918; part 3, 26 Jan 1918-4 Aug 1918; part 4, 4 Aug 1918-15 Dec 1918. The diaries were not compiled contemporaneously, but appear to have been typed up after the events, presumably based on manuscript diaries and notes. Dougal indicates that the first volume of diaries covering July 1915-April 1917 was compiled from memory, not notes, and hence is less definite on the dating of events. In total, the diaries comprise almost a thousand pages of text.
Part 1 of the diary describes Dougal’s arrival in France in July 1915, followed by his active service in Northern France and Belgium with the 17th Division. Among the episodes described are a gas attack at Remy Siding in December 1915, the Battle of the Somme in summer 1916 and later operations on the Somme front, and the Battle of Arras, 1916. It also recounts Dougal's periods of leave.
Part 2, 8 May 1917-25 January 1918, describes his service at St Nicholas, Paris (leave), Couturelle, Hermaville, Nobescourt, Elverdinghe and Bisleux-au-Mont amongst other locations, and mentions the 34th Division's involvement in Battle of Arras, the fighting in the Hargicourt Sector, and the 3rd Battle of Ypres.
Part 3, 26 Jan 1918-4 Aug 1918, covers the period of the German Spring offensive on the Western Front and the Allied counter offensive in the summer. Describes Dougal's service at Gomiecourt, Le Cauroy, Merville, Steenwerck, Boeschepe, Remy Siding, Vogeltje, Bembecque, Samer, Couthove Chau, Vivières and Forêt de Retz.
Part 4, 4 Aug -15 Dec 1918, describes Dougal's activities during the final phases of the War including service at Esquelbecques, Ryan Camp (near Abeele), Lauwe, Harlebeke, and Morseele. The final entry describe Dougal's embarkation at Boulogne and transfer to London in Dec 1918.
Volume 2 of the diaries also includes appendices composed of typed transcripts of various documents relating to Dougal's war service, including official correspondence, orders and reports, medical arrangements, orders of battle (1918), newspaper cuttings, a note by Dougal on the small box respirator etc.
The collection includes a box of maps (19 items) assembled by Dougal, mostly military maps of the Western Front, but also some sketch plans of military medical facilities (by DD?) and general maps. There is a single letter from C H Leveson dated 2 Aug 1914, presumably addressed to Dougal, concerning the non-availability of a military band.