Doughty was born on 1st October 1891, the eighth and youngest child of
William and Susanna Doughty of,
Stratford, Taranaki, New Zealand.
He went to Australia in 1913 (to work) and at the beginning of World War I
then joined the 1st Australian Artillery Division and fought at Gallipoli
and then in France.
He was mentioned in dispatches, being awarded the Military Cross and was
made a Lieutenant.
He died of wounds on 25th July 1917 (aged 25). He was interred in Coxyde
Military Cemetery, Belgium.
Ralph Doughty was in active service for a total of 2 years and 123 days
before he became a WWI casualty. The last entry in his final diary is a
fitting way to end such a record, from such a war hero,
Better day today. Very heavy bombardment on both
left, right and centre.
R. D. Doughty. M.C.
1891 - 1917
Central Army Records.
Lieutenant Ralph Dorchell Doughty. M.C. records held by this office the
information you have requested is:
Stated on enlistment that he was 22, 10/12 years old, and was born at
Stratford, New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.
Enlisted in Sydney, New South Wales on the 28th August, 1914.
Allotted army number 193 and the rank of bombardier.
Embarked for overseas service with the 2nd Battery 1st Field,
Artillery Brigade per HT ARGYLLSHIRE on the 18th October, 1914.
Promoted provisional corporal at Gallipoli on the 20th June, 1915.
Appointed 2nd Lieutenant at Tel-el-Kebir on the 12th March, 1916.
Transferred to the 9th Battery 3 Field Artillery Brigade on the 12th March,
Embarked at Alexandria on the 23rd March, 1916.
Disembarked at Marseilles, France on the 29th March, 1916.
Promoted Lieutenant on the 13th June, 1916.
Wounded in action in France on the 18th November, 1916.
Evacuated to England on the 21st November, 1916.
Embarked for France on the 31st January, 1917.
Rejoined the 3rd Field Artillery Brigade in France on the 9th February,
Awarded the Military Cross on the 8th May, 1917.
Wounded in action in Belgium on the 23rd July, 1917.
Died of wounds on the 25th July, 1917.
Buried in the Coxyde Military Cemetery, Belgium, Plot I, Row F, grave 20.
British War Medal
Military Cross (above right) won at HERMIES on the 9th April 1917,
Lieutenant Ralph Dorchel DOUGHTY
conspicuous courage and initiative when working with the Right
Battalion, 1st Australian Army Brigade F.O.O. for the 3rd (Army) F.A.
Brigade. He was responsible for the successful employment of the
Artillery on his flank at a crucial period of the operations, and did
not hesitate to push out beyond the furthest point reached by our
Infantry patrols in order to secure better facilities for our
observation. There can be little doubt that it was to his devotion to
duty and resource, that our line in front of HERMIES owed its immunity
from counter-attack, during the whole day of attack.
WWI Diaries of Ralph Doughty.
The diaries of Ralph Doughty can all be viewed and read by
click on the links, Diary One to Five that you want to read.
The diaries were transcribed through hard work by J.M. Webster & G.C.
Danvers and the Introduction is by a local historian Murray Moorehead -
with many thanks from the members of the Doughty, Ward, and Kivell
Diaries that have made it back from the front lines of
Gallipoli, Tel-el Kebir (Egypt), and France.
5th April 1915 - 15th September 1915
After having come from Australia per SS 'Argyllshire' and arrived in
the Land of the Pharaohs where rigorous training and tons of good
fun and High Life generally were the rules of the road we got
embarkation orders thank God! So here's to it and may our little
flutter which we are about to have tend in some way to weight his
balance against His most Satanic Majesty THE KAISER.
Detailed to go in charge of 3GS wagons to one of Cairo's many
railway stations. Got there, and started looking around for the
necessary something to eat. Had a last stroll around the square.
Posted a photo to cousin Annie in E. Had a last bath at the National
(awfully tender memories of that place). The devil alone knows when
we'll get another. 7.15 Started entraining. Had charge of 30 wagons.
Loaded one truck in 25 minutes. Have developed into a real nigger
driver. Got informed by the entraining officer that ours was the
quickest he had seen. What dogs we must be. Goodbye Cairo. 0.45
slept in a truck with the gun stores
16th September 1915 - 21 November 1915
22th November 1915 - 3rd January 1916
2nd March 1916 - 11th August 1916
Tel-el Kebir Camp Egypt
22nd March 1916
Hur-bloomin-ray. Marching orders at
last, and as pleased as a cat with two tails to get them. Just
awaiting orders to entrain. Am heartily sick of this confounded
Country, however remarkable it may be. Too many flies and niggers
for my especial palate and those two abortions combined are exactly
100% worse that Shrapnel or HE. This time I leave Egypt as a 'Bloomin
OFFICER'. Lieutenant R.D.D. of the Galloping Ninth, 3rd Brigade, 1st
Division. Our CO is Colonel Burgess, OC Major Gee, and Randall and
Faulkner. My old chum C.G.P. is with the Brigade, as Orderly Officer
to the Colonel. Am feeling awfully fit, so look out somebody!
23rd March 1916
Left Tel-el Kebir at 1am this morning.
Arrived at Alexandria at 7am. Had a ripping good sleep coming down.
Travel 1st Class nowadays. Officer you know. Unloaded horses and
gear in next to record time. Started embarking same at 10am,
finished at 12.40pm. Been trying to get into the City but the CO
won't hear of it. This time we go to France I believe. Nothing
definite known as yet, but I really think that's where we'll bring
up. At present on SS Nessian of the Leyland Line of boats. Have a
dinky cabin amidships, sharing same with Major Gee and Faulkner.
Chas is on board, only a couple of cabins away. Left Alex at 8pm.
Picked up with a destroyer escort 10pm. Plenty of 'tin fish' around
here. Select little beano with Captains McIndoe and Raymond, and
Chas and Faulkner. Sea very calm and, many thanks to someone, the
thermometer's down a few. Had a last look at Egypt. Hope it's not my
lot to visit there again. Bunk at 12pm
12th August 1916 - 16th March 1917
Still spelling. Everything as it should
be even the weather behaving itself.
13th August 1916
Sunday again. Still spelling. Beginning to get fit again.
14th August 1916
Out for exercise most of the day.
Rumours afloat that we return to the Firing Line tomorrow. Hope so.
Too quiet out here. Have got so used to noise by ... [this?] that
whenever we get to a quiet spot you've got an idea that the earth is
ceasing to revolve, and the sun's going out.
15th August 1916
Marching orders to hand. Left ... ....
[St Seger?] at 1000 this morning. Arrived at Val de Maison at 2.20.
'Fed' in the rain. On the move again at 5, arrived here Vadencourt
Wood at 7.30. Raining like old Nick
ends the last known diary of Ralph Dorchell Doughty. It seems
unlikely that he gave up keeping a dairy at this point, having done
so almost continuously since 5 April 1915.
Perhaps there was another diary-one which was with him when he was
wounded, and when he died. If it exists, neither of the families who
had these diaries know where it went. It would cover the remainder
of March, all of April, May, June, and most of July.
Man's Anzac Story
an article from the New Plymouth Sunday Express April 1983
by Murray Moorehead.
`The ranks of the old Gallipoli veterans are thinned now to a
mere handful, and there would not be much more than a decade left
for anyone to get to know, in person, a man who could proudly claim
to have played a part in the forging of the great Anzac brotherhood.
They have certainly had full lives, these dogged veterans. Those
still with us on Anzac Day two years hence will be able to look over
70 long and eventful years since they helped make history on the
slopes of an arid and inhospitable peninsula which most of the world
had never heard of before.
But it is not only the living whom we may get to know with some
intimacy. To the members of the Kivell family in New Plymouth, a man
named Ralph Doughty remains someone more than merely some distant
ancestor who died in a war that was over long before most of them
were born. Ralph Doughty is, in his way, still very much a part of
the family. New generations of Kivells feel that they know him
almost as intimately as those to whom he said cheery goodbyes as he
left Taranaki to seek his fortune in Australia shortly before the
Great War broke out
Wreath placed on ANZAC day
Coxyde Military Cemetery, Belgium.
They shall grow not old
As we that are left grow old
Age shall not weary them
Nor the years condemn
At the going down of the sun
And in the morning
We will remember them
Ralph Doughty's final resting place in Coxyde
Military Cemetery, Belgium