Major Donald Dunbar Coutts

Ranks Held Captain, Major
Birth Date 29 April 1890
Birth Place Australia: Victoria, Boort
Death Date 17 September 1975
Death Place Australia: Victoria, Melbourne, Camberwell
Final Rank Major
Service Australian Imperial Force
Units
  • 6th Australian Field Ambulance
  • 6th Australian Field Ambulance
  • Australian Army Medical Corps
  • Australian Army Medical Corps
Places
Conflict/Operation First World War, 1914-1918
Gazettes Published in London Gazette in 1919-02-01
Published in London Gazette in 1919-07-11
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-10-30
Published in Commonwealth Gazette in 1919-06-03
Description

Donald Dunbar Coutts was born on 29 April 1890 at Mysia, near Boort, Victoria. Coutts worked in the Melbourne Hospital before enlisting on 18 November 1916 with the Australian Army Medical Corps. Embarking on 23 November at Melbourne, Coutts arrived in France by April 1917 and was posted to the 6th Australian Field Ambulance in July. In September he was involved in the Battle of Menin Road.

In December 1917, Coutts was posted to the 24th Battalion as the Regimental Medical Officer, and was promoted to major at the end of January 1918. The battalion played its part in turning back the German offensive of March, and played a major role at Mont St Quentin by recapturing the main German strongpoint atop the summit on 1 September. Coutts was awarded a Distinguished Service Order for his efforts during the battle, during which he attended the wounded for fifty two hours straight. He was also mentioned in despatches during the war.

After the war, Coutts returned to Australia. He was discharged at the end of February 1920 and in August he married Alma Matilda Hansen. In 1928, he joined the Royal Australian Navy Reserve and was transferred in 1942 to the Royal Australian Navy Volunteer Reserve, eventually becoming a surgeon commander. Coutts was awarded the Volunteer Reserve Decoration in 1946 and was transferred to the retired list in 1948.

Coutts ran his own general practice at Williamtown, Victoria, from 1927 and was the honorary Medical Officer and Consultant Medical Officer at the Williamstown and District General Hospital. In 1939, he took on another role as Medical Officer of Health for the city of Williamstown. Coutts returned to the Western Front in 1971 as leader of the 2nd Australian Division, 1st AIF Veterans Pilgrimage to France, wehere he helped unveil the new Australian Memorial at Mont St Quentin. He was also active in the Australian Red Cross and St John Association, and for his service to medicine he was granted The Order of the British Empire - Member (Civil) on 1 January 1973. He died on 17 September 1975 at Camberwell and was buried at Inglewood Cemetery, Victoria.

Rolls

  • First World War Embarkation Roll:

    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Captain
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    6th Australian Field Ambulance
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
    London Gazette
    11 July 1919 on page 8834 at position 81
    Commonwealth Gazette
    30 October 1919 on page 1657 at position 37
  • First World War Nominal Roll:

    Unit
    6th Australian Field Ambulance
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Unit
    Australian Army Medical Corps
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
  • Honours and Awards:

    Unit
    Australian Army Medical Corps
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Major
    London Gazette
    01 February 1919 on page 1614 at position 4
    Commonwealth Gazette
    03 June 1919 on page 943 at position 13

Timeline

Date of birth 29 April 1890
Date of enlistment 18 November 1916
Date of embarkation 23 November 1916
Date of recommendation honour or award 13 September 1918
Date returned to Australia 22 November 1919
Date of death 17 September 1975