Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Marks DSO, MC

Promoted to lieutenant colonel on 5 Dec 1917. At 22 he was one of the youngest commanding officers in the Australian Imperial Force.

Proposal to name the Palm Beach Pavilion

The Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club has requested to name the Palm Beach Pavilion the ‘Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Marks DSO, MC Pavilion’ as part of the Centenary of Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Marks' death on the 25 January 2020.

The Club is also working with the Australia Remembers Committee Northern Beaches and North Shore to arrange the unveiling of a plaque celebrating Douglas Marks’s military achievements at this event.

At its meeting on Tuesday 26 November 2019 Council agreed to place the proposal to name the Palm Beach Pavilion the ‘Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Marks DSO, MC Pavilion’ on public exhibition for 14 days inviting submissions.

View Council report, Proposal to name the Palm Beach Pavilion The Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Marks DSO, MC Pavilion

View Council minutes

Who was Lieutenant Colonel Douglas Marks?

Douglas Marks was born on 20 March 1895 at Junee, New South Wales. He attended Fort Street Boys' High School, Sydney, becoming a bank clerk, and studied mining engineering part time at Sydney Technical College.

He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Forces in November 1914 and was appointed a second lieutenant in the 13th Battalion. On 25 March 1915, Douglas Marks was promoted to lieutenant and on April 26*, he landed at Gallipoli. Marks was promoted to captain in January 1916 while in Egypt and in June sailed to France with his battalion. He was awarded the Military Cross in September.

In August 1917, at the age of 22, Marks was promoted to lieutenant colonel and commander of his battalion, he was one of the youngest commanders in the Australian forces during World War 1.

In 1918 Douglas Marks was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his efforts commanding his battalion and over the succeeding months the battalion was involved in battles at Hebuterne, Villers-Bretonneux, Monument Wood, Hamel, Morcourt, Vauvillers and the assault on the Hindenburg line on September 18 near Hargicourt, the battalion's last major battle.

On returning to Australia he was accepted into law at the University of Sydney but deferred for twelve months to study Latin; meanwhile, he was employed as manager of the Continental Paper Bag Co.

In heavy surf at Palm Beach, on 25 January 1920, Marks, a poor swimmer, attempted to save Miss Joanna Mary Rogers. The attempt was unsuccessful and both tragically drowned; his body was never recovered.

*Reference: http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/marks-douglas-gray-7487

Please note some factual inaccuracies were identified post Council report publishing. These have been corrected as per the reference above.


Have your say

  • complete the form below
  • in writing, marked 'Naming proposal - Palm Beach Pavilion' to Northern Beaches Council PO Box 82 Manly NSW 1655

Submissions close Sunday 15 December 2019

Enquiries: Peter Rodham on 1300 434 434

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