Fighting Kept Captain Douglas From Earning $2,500 a Year Prescribed by Will
BROTHER GETS HIS SHARE
British Officer on Way to Minneapolis to Lay His Case Before Father's Executor
One of the passengers on the Cunarder Aquitania from Southampton and Cherbourg who landed last night was Captain George Camp Douglas of the British Royal Artillery, who said that he had come here to claim $250,000 as his share of the estate left to him by his father, Watler [sic] D. Douglas, an official of the Quaker Oats Company of Minnesota, who was drowned on the Titanic ten years ago.
Captain Douglas, who is a well-built man, fair haired, blue eyed, and clean shaven, said that he was born in England. When his father's will was opened after the loss of the Titanic, he continued, it was found to contain a strange proviso, which stated that the two sons and heirs should for ten years earn at least $2,500 a year, and then the half a million dollars left by their father should be divided equally between them.
"My brother, E. Bruce Douglas," said the captain, "has received his share, and I am on my way to see the trustees in Minneapolis and explain that my service during the war has kept me from earning the stipulated sum of $2,500 a year.
"When the war broke out, in 1914, I enlisted as a private in the British Army---I could not be a slacker---and rose to the rank of Captain, but my pay even now is not $2,500 a year. So that it was not my fault that I have not earned the stipulated amount. My father did not foresee that England would go to war when he inserted that clause in his will. My brother served in the war in the American Army and received much higher pay. Besides, his term of service was much shorter, which gave him ample time to earn more money.
"The war came and cut off my chances, and I shall plead that to the executors in Minneapolis and claim that I have done my legal best to carry out my father's wishes. His intention no doubt was to impress upon us both the necessity of making good on our own account, without being dependent upon the money he was leaving to us.
"I shall fight for my rights and I believe that the United States Courts will agree that I have done my best."
Captain Douglas added that he was still a captain in the British Army on active service, but his pay with all allowances fell short of the total demand under the provisions of his father's will.
The executor of the will, Captain Douglas said, is a trust company in Minneapolis. He will leave for that city tomorrow, he said, to begin a fight for the fortune he risked by doing his bit for civilization.
Walter Donald Douglas
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(1922) COMES FOR $250,000 HE RISKED IN WARNew York Times (ref: #4393, accessed 19th December 2014 08:15:56 PM)
URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/comes-for-250000-he-risked-war.html
Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Tuesday 1st February 2005, last updated Friday 19th December 2014.