Captain Waugh's War


A record of one man's journey in World War Two.  And the aftermath.


More about Captain Douglas Waugh


In 1936 Douglas joined the London Scottish Regiment as a part time soldier expecting there to be war in some form in the not too distant future.

In 1939 he joined the Scots Guards and was chosen to attend Sandhurst Royal Military Academy to train as an officer. He was then sent to the Royal Fusiliers in Norfolk for training.

A new Reconnaissance Corps was formed to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of each Division. An elite group who would go ahead of the main force to locate the enemy and report back or direct fire. The 46th Recce were formed at Morton Hall in Norfolk. The motto of the Recce Corps was ‘Only The Enemy In Front’ and their emblem was an Oak Tree which looked more like a Christmas Tree.

The Pier and A Norfolk Beach were both in his spell in the Royal Fusiliers.

The Gun is a well known story from North Africa. Douglas related the story well before it was featured in Spike Milligan’s and Harry Secombe’s autobiographies. Douglas’ 46th Division relieved Spike Milligan’s 56th Division in North Africa.

The Italy Star was awarded to any combatant who served in the Italian Campaign.

‘The D Day Dodgers’ was the sobriquet given to those troops invading Southern Italy, as supposedly they were avoiding, through no fault of their own, the ‘Main’ event in Normandy. It was quickly embraced by the troops with new words to ‘Lili Marlene’ written by Lance Sargent Harry Pynn.

The Beer story happened in Austria when Douglas’ role was to interview ex Axis soldiers and try to weed out any who may have committed war crimes and from his description of the incident, the Austrian soldier had to have been there directing the mortar fire. The ‘other guy’ was killed.

The Italy Star Memorial, together with the Monte Cassino Memorial, can be found in the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Messignano was a visit back to that village with his son in 1996.

A Friend Revisited was during a trip to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Salerno landings in 2013.

‘Douglas’ was a poem read at his funeral in 2019. He was 101 and had his last Italian lesson a week before he died.

Remembrance Day: Douglas, along with various members of his family, marched numerous times at the Cenotaph Parade. After the Cenotaph ceremony for several years Douglas had lunch, along with other old Recce Corps members and their families, at the Union Jack Club in Waterloo. The wall listing all recipients of the Victoria Cross is there. One of which Douglas witnessed being won.