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Osborne Henry Douglas (1880–1918)

Profound regret was felt in Nhill on Wednesday evening when a wire was received by Mr Reg B. Turner stating that Corporal Osborne H. Douglas had been killed in action on Wednesday, 24th April, while fighting with the A.I.F.. in France. Last year he was wounded in action and was admitted to the British War Hospital, Rouen, France; then he went to London, but when the great enemy offensive commenced he again joined up with his regiment and, lighting side by side with the lads from "down under" was one of the heroes who barred the German advance on Amiens, Calais, and Paris. When the British soldiers, who were selling their lives to hold back the enemy hosts, were almost exhausted the Australians, who wore brought up at full speed in motor cars and lorries, dashed straight into tho fight with bayonet, bombs, and rifles. When the history of this great war is written, and all the thrilling incidents of battle are presented to view, we shall learn of thousands of acts of glorious devotion to duty and self sacrifice. Corporal Douglas did his duty well—whatever was required of him he did cheerfully and with that dauntless courage which characterise the Australians when danger and death has to be faced. Whether on the foot ball field or in the boxing ring deceased never flinched when pitted against a worthy antagonist and, what is more, he always "played the game," and his old comrades know that he played the game " Over There." Deceased attained the age of 38 years, and was the second youngest son of the late Sir Ade Douglas, Attorney-General of Tasmania, and Lady Douglas, who resides at Hobart. After a successful career at the University of Hobart he was admitted to the Tasmanian Bar, and later practised as a solicitor in Melbourne until 1909 when, entering into partnership with Mr Alex G. Proudfoot he purchased Mr Clas. E. Stedman's practice in Nhill, which hoe subsequently acquired himself. During his stay in Nhill he identified himself with all progressive movements, and was a member of every institution and sporting club in Nhill. Perhaps ho was more closely associated with the local hospital than any other institution, and was President of the Board cf Management when he enlisted on 28th March 1916. He was also an active member of the committees of the Nhill A. and P. Society and Free Library. He was one of the most brilliant batsmen of the Tasmanian cricket team which played in inter-State matches and against the English Eleven. His masterly exhibition of batting will long be remembered by all West Wimera cricketers; he was captain of the local club for three years. The late Corporal Douglas' death is much regretted by the playing members and officials of the Nhill Football Club. He frequently played in matches, but it was due to his generous support and personal supervision which enabled Nhill to win the West Wimmera premiership pennant in 1912, when he was President of the club. Golf and tennis enthusiasts will miss a worthy player from the links and courts. Deceased, as counsel, conducted many important cases in the Nhill County Club, Petty Sessions, and Police Court, and when Mr Stodman resigned, he was appointed Shire solicitor. The flags were lowered to half mast yesterday as a mark of respect for the gallant soldier who gave his life for his king and Empire, and one who leaves behind a record worthy of emulation. Deceased's two brothers are still fighting at the front.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Douglas, Osborne Henry (1880–1918)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


14 March, 1880
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia


24 April, 1918 (aged 38)
Dernancourt, France

Cause of Death

killed in action

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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Military Service