Born in North Vancouver, B.C., McDougall went overseas with the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada in 1941, and fought in Sicily and Italy in 1943 and 1944. Fifteen years later, in 1960, he was asked to write an official history of the Seaforths in WWII. Family tragedy cut the project short, just as the narrative had completed the battle for the Hitler Line in central Italy.
A Narrative of War
This is the story of the Seaforth Highlanders of Canada, told through the eyes of an officer who trained and campaigned with this famous regiment.
Robert L. McDougall was a pioneer in the teaching of Canadian literature. For some forty years he taught university classes in Toronto and in Ottawa, where he was founder and director of the Institute of Canadian Studies at Carleton University. In 1960, he started the Carleton Library, a series of reprints and new compilations which ran to 150 titles. In 1983 he edited the correspondence of Duncan Campbell Scott and E.K. Brown for The Poet and the Critic, and in 1990 published Totems, a collection of essays on the cultural history of Canada and the Commonwealth. The books which Rob McDougall introduced to his classes were the stories of men and women who wrote their experiences into the fabric of the Canadian myth. They became the authors we take for granted today. In A Narrative of War, McDougall writes from the base of his own experiences, as an officer in the battalion he served with in the Second World War.