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H.A. Douglas Indian collection

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3022ZZ-MMM

Scope and Contents

This collection spans the whole of Douglas's career, reflecting both his military service, his family and friends, and his hobbies. His son recalls him as a keen sportsman, joining in the 'Boys v Fathers' Match at his prep school, and reminiscing about the hunting trophies which hung on the walls of his house in Paris. He was an enthusiastic polo player, and an amateur actor in plays and the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. All these are reflected in the albums, as well as his activities as a Freemason. In addition to the professional work already mentioned, many of the pictures are good amateur photographs, which he presumably took himself. There is some mystery about Y3022ZZ most of which consists of photographs of a journey to Ceylon clearly dated between October 1890 and April 1891, when Douglas was still at Eton. The album was therefore presumably collected by someone else, but the latter portion includes some of Douglas's Indian photographs. The remaining volumes relate chiefly to India, though there are occasional scenes elsewhere, presumably taken during leaves, notably Y3022DDD recording a visit to Japan. Y3022MMM also has some domestic photographs after retirement. There is some duplication in the collection. The named photographers include Scowen and Co (Ceylon Y3022ZZ), Bremner and Holmes.


  • Creation: 1890 - 1930


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Herbert Archibald Douglas was born at Salwarpe on 2 April 1874, the son of Thomas and Janet Douglas. He was educated at Eton and was commissioned in the Wiltshire Regiment on 29 May 1895. On 14 September he was posted to India, returning home on 7 October 1898 and sent to India again in May the following year. He transferred to the Army Service Corps in January 1902 and thence to the Indian Supply and Transport Corps. His postings were: 1904 Mhow; 1905 Ambala; 1908 Chitral and Drosh (during which he served in the Mohmand Expedition); 1912 Lyallpur, when he was Commandant of the Grantee Camel Corp. He served with Indian troops in France 1914-1915 and was appointed Assistant Director of Supplies in the latter year. After service in Mesopotomia in 1916 he returned to India. He was promoted Lieutenant-Colonel on 29 May 1921 and retired 1 June 1922. On 4 December 1915 he married Marie Louise Dollez at the Embassy Chapel in Paris and in his retirement settled in France. He was a prominent member of the English community in Paris, helping and advising in the British consulate. He also organised the annual dinner for old Etonians in Paris. The last ten or twelve years of his life were overshadowed by illness, possibly arising from the long-term effects of a severe accident at polo in 1917. He died on 19 October 1941.


14 album(s) (760 images in 14 albums)

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Many of the photographs are of very high quality, and the general condition, apart from Y3022ZZ, is very good

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented to the Royal Commonwealth Society Library by James Douglas, son of the owner of the albums, on 18 November 1985.

Related Materials

Further notes on H A Douglas's career and correspondence with the donor are filed at Y3022ZZ.


This collection level description was entered by PJ and MJC using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Douglas, Herbert Archibald, 1874-1941

Includes index.
2002-11-26 11:49:36+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

Cambridge University Library
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Cambridge CB3 9DR United Kingdom