“Had I been a Platoon Commander at the same time as Lieutenant Dougie Dalzell, I would have wished to be like him: assured, confident, utterly professional and hugely popular with his men and held in the highest regard by his seniors. He was the ultimate role model and example for any young officer. Not just a fantastic soldier and leader, he was an exceptional sportsman and he had dashing good looks. Beyond all this, he was also a bloody good bloke. He found most things easy, so rather than simply accepting basic success he strove to excel in all he took on. He really did ‘fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run’”.
Lieutenant Colonel Toby Gray, Commanding Officer, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards
As described by Lt Col. Toby Gray, Dougie never gave up on anything. He was unfailingly determined and disciplined in whatever task he was given, and gave it his all. He loved life and everything it had to offer; he worked hard, trained hard and played hardest. Another army comrade of Dougie's explained how there are few better judges of character than the British soldier; that Dougie’s bond with his men was so strong spoke volumes of his honesty, humility and integrity.
In September 2010 Dougie was awarded the Military Cross, an award granted in recognition of exemplary gallantry during active operations against the enemy on land. Please click here to view Dougie's Military Cross Citation.
With Dougie's honesty and integrity came an incredible inner strength. He was able to see and bring out the best in others and provide friendship, kindness and warmth to all. His passion for life combined with his mischevous smile enthused those around him, and attracted people. They loved to be around him.
Dougie was born on 18 February 1983 in Windsor. In 1988, at the age of 5 years, he and his family moved to Connecticut, U.S.A where he attended a local school. In 1991, back in England, Dougie went to Cothill House School and later to Radley College.
Dougie was a keen sportsman; at school playing in the 1st teams of the major sports, particularly excelling in cricket and rugby. He was a natural all round sportsman, be it cricket, football, rugby, tennis, skiing or golf. He loved to be part of a team and the combination of his character and talent often made him an obvious choice to be captain.
After school and a year of travelling and working as a gap teacher at Caldicott Prep School, Dougie attended Leeds University.
He went on to complete a Graduate Diploma in Law at BPP Law School before realizing the Army was where he wanted to be. Dougie passed out from The Royal Military College, Sandhurst in December 2007, and joined the Coldstream Guards in March 2008. His first tour was to Afghanistan in October 2009.
Dougie cared deeply about his family. Although he was a young man busy with his life he would find that moment, however short, to get back to them when possible. He was the most caring of brothers and a son that no parent could love or respect more.
It was quite clear that being in the Army was something he very much wanted to do. He gave everything he had to the commitment he made. Dougie always said the most important thing was the safety of his men and bringing them back home.
That last comment provided the inspiration for the Trust which was founded in 2010 by Dougie's family and friends to support those who suffer as a result of war.