Douglas Weatherall Lindsay was born in June 1916 in West Hartelpool Co Durham. He was the only child of Andrew Pillans Lindsay (born in Dundee) and Winifred Jane (née Weatherall) from West Hartepool. Douglas Lindsay’s grandfather was Frederick Lindsay born in Kirremuir in Angus a Tailor who married Margaret Pillans from Dundee. Andrew was a dentist and the family lived at 12 Grange Road, West Hartlepool before moving in Edinburgh in the early 1930s.
Douglas attended Pocklington School in Yorkshire from 1926-1933 where he did well academically, winning several prizes. He was a keen rugby player who gained his 1st XV colours and had a trial for Durham schoolboys. He enjoyed other sports there including cricket, tennis, swimming and fives. He also acted in school plays. He was in the school Corps as a L/Cpl and was attached to the Green Howards in Pocklington Village. Douglas was awarded his Northern Universities School Certificate in 1932 and left school to become an Apprentice at Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance from 1933 to 1935.
In March 1936, Douglas passed his RAF Medical Board and was graded as ‘fit for flying’ as a pilot. He attended initial flying training at CTS Perth from June to August flying Tiger Moths. He was subsequently granted a 4 year Short Service Commission (SSC) as an Acting Pilot Officer on probation (Service No 39018) on 29 July 1936. He was graded a Pilot Officer on 29 June 1937 and gained his “wings” during his pilot flying training at No 10 FTS. During 1937 Douglas passed his promotion exams and attended relevant training courses including a twin engine conversion at RAF Hinaido and Dhibban in Iraq near Baghdad. He was later promoted to Flying Officer on 29 January 1939 and his SSC extended to 6 years.
In September 1939 he was posted to No 37 (B) Squadron as a supernumerary pilot and was then based at RAF Feltwell in Norfolk flying Vickers Wellington bombers in late 1939. In early 1940, he flew many bombing raids over France and Germany including one over Norway.
Douglas is mentioned on a Memorial Plaque in Pocklington School’s cricket pavilion and in the Book of Remembrance at the Scottish National War Memorial in Edinburgh Castle as well as in the Roll of Honour at the Bomber Command memorial at Ely Cathedral.
Douglas was awarded the War Medal 1939-1945 for all serving Armed Forces during World War Two, the 1939-1945 Star for operational service during the War and the Air Crew Europe Star for aircrew who participated in operational flits over Europe between 3 September 1939 and 5 June 1944.
From left to right: Doug Aylward and Dawn Pillans (relatives of Douglas Lindsay), Rachel Dare (Pocklington School) and Jack Waterfall (relative of Sgt Jack Waterfall) pictured during a visit of the Memorial Stone to Pocklington School attended by Douglas Lindsay