R.S.M. Douglas Sandilands
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Regimental Sergeant Major Douglas Sandilands MC DCM
Reproduced with the kind permission of the family
Regimental Sergeant Major Douglas Sandilands joined the 13th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment on September 8th, 1914, and left Devonport on December 16th, 1915, for Egypt. He left Egypt on September 29th, 1916, for France, and served with the 13th Battalion until that unit was disbanded, when he was transferred to the 11th Battalion, with which he served until the end of the war. He was demobilised on February 18th, 1919.
RSM Sandilands Medal Card
Mr. Sandilands was awarded the D.C.M. for taking over the command of his company in one of the engagements upon the Somme, after his Captain had been severely wounded. Mr. Sandilands showed great courage and determination, and maintained a position for seven hours, during which every officer was either killed or wounded. He only retired after everyone else had withdrawn. He was awarded the M.C. on January 1st, 1917, for great gallantry upon several occasions.
RSM Sandilands Citation as it appeared in the London Gazette
On the 20th July 1922, at the City Hall, Hull, the Lord Mayor presented R.S.M. Sandilands, as representing the ex-Service men of Hull, with the Honorary Freedom of the City, the resolution conferring it being engrossed on vellum, and enclosed in a very handsome gold casket.The audience included the majority of Hull`s leading citizens and many ex-Servicemen. To the strains of a triumphal march on the organ the members of the City Council, wearing their robes, walked down the centre aisle of the City Hall, and mounted the platform.
RSM Sandilands receiving the Freedom of the City
Regimental Sergeant Major Sandilands, who was dressed in uniform, walked between the Lord Mayor (Councillor G. F. Wokes) and the Acting Town Clerk (Mr. H. Hopkins), and was followed by the other three candidates, whose names and records had been submitted by the British Legion for selection.
The platform had been gaily decorated with choice blooms and foliage. Before the ceremony the vast audience sang the National Anthem.
The Lord Mayor said that every citizen of Hull had reason to be proud of the part played by the citizens in the late War.
Some 70,000 served His Majesty in the various branches of his services; 0ver 7,000 laid down their lives, and nearly 20,000 were more or less incapacitated. He referred to the action of the City Council in conferring the Freedom on Earl Haig and Earl Beatty, and said that while it conferred no powers, it was the greatest honour the Corporation, on behalf of the citizens, could bestow on anyone. There was great applause when the new Freeman signed the roll.
R,S.M. Sandilands is a butcher, and the members of that trade, delighted at the signal honour done to one of their number, have made a presentation of their own to him. The gifts include a silver tea and coffee service, a cutlery cabinet, a gold watch and guard, and a gold cigarette case.
His house today 90 Alliance Avenue Hull
Sources RSM Sandilands Family, Hull Daily Mail, The National Archives