|Douglas Bernard Stimson|
(Imperial War Musuem HU 66766)
Douglas was born on 23 October, 1897, in the Parish of Kew, Greater London to William Adolphe Stimson and Ellen Beatrice Phillips. William and Ellen had married in London in 1892 and Douglas was their third child. As fate would have it, Douglas and his older brothers (Montague Adolph and Eric Malcolm), born in the late 1890s, were all drawn into the maelstrom of World War I.
But before that happened, Douglas would have a pleasant childhood growing up in Richmond, southwest of London. William was a Master Tailor and the family was evidently well-off with a Cook and Nursemaid as servants.In 1911, Douglas was attending school in Swaffham, Norfolk but may have apprenticed as a tailor prior to the war.
World War I
|Eric Malcolm Stimson|
(Lijssenthoek Cemetery website)
Montague joined the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC) on 5 August, 1914, as a private. Douglas, despite being only 16 years old, managed to follow in his elder brother's footsteps and joined the same regiment in the fall of 1914.
Eric marched to a different beat and was initially assigned to the 7th Reserve Cavalry Regiment for training purposes before ending up with the 9th Rifle Brigade. On his application, Eric stated that he was a tailor and claimed to be 19 years old. He was, in fact, only 17 years old when he enlisted, having being born in the fall of 1896. His eagerness to join up would be short-lived. On June 30, 1915, Eric disembarked with the 9th Rifle Brigade in France. Less than two months later, on 24 August, Eric died from wounds sustained in battle.
|Worcestershire Regiment Cap Badge|
(National Army Museum)
Douglas initially served with the 2nd Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company. He was later commissioned into the Worcestershire Regiment and arrived in France on 18 August, 1915. Douglas was eventually commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Worcestershire Regiment on 12 May, 1917. On 1 July, 1918, Douglas was promoted to Acting Lieutenant while commanding a company at the Reserve Battalion Depot of the Royal Army Medical Corps.
Douglas had survived the war but the cost had been high, with both of his brothers paying the ultimate price.
In 1922, Douglas married Lydia Stephens (née Baker), the widow of 2nd Lt. Thomas Alexander Stephens of the Royal Engineers. Douglas and Lydia had at least one child with a daughter, Lydia J. Stimson, being born in 1924.
|Douglas Bernard Stimson at Camp 020|
(Photograph album on display at the Imperial War Museum -
caption below photograph reads:
Tailor of Hanover Square + AFM/ATM(?))
World War 2
On 17 September, 1940, Douglas was re-commissioned into the British Army as a Lieutenant and ended up serving with the Intelligence Corps as an Acting Captain. With his previous military experience and business acumen, Stimson was placed in charge of Administration at Camp 020. While other officers interrogated suspected enemy spies, Stimson ensured that Camp 020 ran efficiently. On several occasions in June 1941, Douglas sat in on Josef Jakobs' interrogations.
|Signature of Capt. D.B. Stimson|
(National Archives KV files)
|W.A. Stimson Ltd. waistcoat|
(From Worthpoint website)
British Army Lists - 1940 & 1941.
Genealogy websites - Ancestry, FamilySearch - births, marriages, deaths, census, passenger lists, World War I records.
Great War Forum.
Stephens, R.W.G. - Camp 020:MI5 and the Nazi Spies (edited by Oliver Hoare). 2000.