Sub Lieutenant 

Douglas Nowell 

COLSON, 

DSC MiD

RNR

Died On:
Aged:
11 June 1916

24

Douglas Colson was born on 1 July 1891 at Douglas, Isle of Man, the son of Frederick and Margaret Colson of Fordingbridge, Hampshire.  Prior to the war he was 4th Officer in SS Empress of Japan of the Canadian Pacific Railway Co.

He was granted a permanent commission in the RNR as Midshipman on 1 July 1909, promoted to Sub Lieutenant on 14 September 1914 and appointed to the armed merchant cruiser HMS CARMANIA.  During his time in CARMANIA he was awarded the DSC for his services in the action with the German merchant cruiser CAP TRAFALGAR on 14 September 1914 when the latter vessel was sunk.  According to the citation in the London Gazette “..Mr Colson took the firehose into the charthouse, which was on fire, and in spite of being burned by falling wood, managed to get the charts out.”  In 1921 the London Gazette recorded the receipt of a Mention in Despatches for the same action.

He was sent to the Baltic in November 1915, firstly to HMS E1, then as Navigating Officer of HMS E18 in which he died when the submarine was lost with all hands.  He is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial on Panel 22.

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