Charles Doig was born at Old Aberdeen on 28 August 1886, the illegitimate son of domestic servant Annie Doig. She registered his birth in Arbroath. He married Mary Agnes McGown at the United Free Church of Scotland in Cardross in 1906 and their son, Charles Duncan Doig, was born on 31 December 1910. By 1911 the family were tenants of Craigend Cottages in Cardross, living next door to Mary’s grandparents and uncle.
When he enlisted with the 9th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders initially for one year in April 1908 having previously served in the 1st Dunbartonshire Rifle Volunteer Corps from 1905, he described himself as a Miller, employed by Mr Ferrier at The Mill, Cardross.
Private Charles Doig trained with his battalion at Bedford. He can be seen in the image along with seven of his comrades outside a billet in Bedford during his time training there.
He embarked for France at Southampton on 19 February 1915. Whilst serving he was promoted to Transport Sergeant and served in France and Flanders for 13 months before returning to the United Kingdom in March 1916 pending discharge at the end of his engagement.
Whilst he was serving, his wife, Mary, died in June 1914 of septicaemia at the Victoria Infirmary in Helensburgh. His son, Charles Duncan, died in May 1919 at the age of eight as a result of pneumonia, tuberculosis and peritonitis. At this time Charles gave his occupation as ship’s cook although in 1920 he was still listed as a carter.
In 1918 he married Elizabeth Leck Wood and they had four children - Samuel Wood Doig (born 1919), Charles Duncan (born 1921 but killed in a traction engine accident in 1926), Annie (born 1923) and Elizabeth (born 1927).
On 6 June 1926 Charles sailed on the SS Doric from Greenock to the United States of America. His final destination was Cleveland, Ohio. Elizabeth, Samuel and Annie followed on the same ship in October 1926. Their daughter Elizabeth was born in Cleveland in 1927. They lived at 889 East 150th Street.
They became American citizens in the 1940s and remained in Cleveland until their deaths – Elizabeth in 1957 and Charles in 1962, at the age of 75.