Major-General Douglas Edward CAYLEY, C.B., C.M.G.

Commanded the 4th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment from 1914 to February 1915.

General Cayley was an old Cliftonian, and was gazetted to the Regiment from the Royal Military College in March, 1890. After a brief stay with the 2nd Battalion, then stationed at Limerick, he was posted to the 1st Battalion in India and joined them with a draft that same year. He served with them at Poona, Kamptee, Rangoon and Aden until 1896, when he came home with the Battalion to Tregantle Fort, Devonport. He was promoted Captain in June, 1899, and served with the 1st Battalion throughout the South African War and afterwards at Templemore.

In July, 1904, he was promoted Major and in that rank he was posted to the 2nd Battalion in Ceylon in 1905, serving with them at that station, Ahmednagar and Jhansi. As Second-in-Command he came home with the Battalion to Aldershot in 1913. In 1914 he was promoted Lieut.-Colonel and proceeded to Burma to take command of the 4th Battalion.

Then came the First Great War 1914-18. He mobilized and commanded the 4th Battalion which formed part of the 88th Infantry Brigade, 29th Division. He commanded the Battalion at the historic landing at Helles in Gallipoli, and through various actions on the Peninsula in which the 4th Battalion fought with such distinction.

In 1915 he was appointed Brigadier-General and assumed Command of the 88th Infantry Brigade, taking an active part in both the Suvla and Helles evacuations which were so successfully carried out. The 29th Division, after a re-fit in Egypt, was moved to the Western Front.

General Cayley commanded the 88th Infantry Brigade at the opening Battle of the Somme in July, 1916, and during subsequent operations until at the Battle of Monchy-le-Preux in April, 1917, where his Brigade was heavily engaged. At this action General Cayley was gassed. On recovery he re-assumed command of the Brigade and commanded it until the Battle of Ypres, 1917 (Passchendaele), when once more he was severely gassed with the whole of his Brigade Staff.

Lieut.-Col. D. E. Cayley
(later Major-General)

Major-General D. E. Cayley

In March, 1918, he was promoted Major-General to Command the 29th Division. This he did until the end of the War through many engagements, the advance to the Rhine and finally the crossing of the Rhine over the famous Hohenzollern Bridge at Cologne at the head of his Division. Thus he served throughout with the famous "Incomparable" 29th Division. He was three times wounded, nine times mentioned in Despatches, and awarded the C.B. and C.M.G.

After his retirement in 1919 General Cayley lived at Hook in Hampshire, where he was Chairman of the Board of Guardians, Basingstoke Area; he was also Chairman of the Hook Branch British Legion from 1922-36. He then moved to reside at Yateley, where he was elected President of the Yateley Branch British Legion. On retirement due to ill-health, he was made a Life President. During the Second World War 1939-45 he was Senior Air Raid Warden Yateley District. In 1947 he was elected a Life Governor of Clifton College.

He was married Miss Jessie Gibbonat at Kandy, Ceylon, when serving with the 2nd Battalion Worcestershire Regiment. He had one son, "Dick," who joined the Royal Navy and became a distinguished Submarine Officer, losing his life during the Second World War, but not until he had so bravely earned the D.S.O. and two bars.

General Cayley was a first-rate Regimental Officer, and very much liked and respected by all Ranks.

Major-General Douglas Edward Cayley, C.B., C.M.G., died at his home in Yateley, on the 19th December 1951, at the age of 81.