DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division
Royal Canadian Dragoons
Canadian Cavalry Brigade
Canadian Infantry Brigade
SERVICE NO: 293
DATE OF BIRTH: April 7, 1888
Goderich – Goderich Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: July 15, 1915 27 years
CEMETERY: Boulogne Eastern Cemetery – Boulogne –
Pas de Calais – France
VIII B 62
PARENTS: Mr. Murdoch and Flora MacDonald – Goderich - Ontario
Occupation: Electrical Lineman Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: September 24, 1914 - Valcartier
Enlistment Age: 26 years 7 months
The Royal Canadian Dragoons went overseas with the 1st Contingent in 1914 and before going over to France in 1915, the Canadian Cavalry Brigade consisted of The Royal Canadian Dragoons, Lord Strathcona’s Horse, the Royal Canadian Horse Aerillery and the Fort Garry Horse. They went to France in 1915 as infantry.
The Canadian Cavalry Brigade had taken a defensive posture in the front line trenches, held those trenches and supported the advances of the infantry. Up to this point in the war the Canadian Cavalry Brigade had not been part of any significant battles but an engagement was planned for June 15, 1915.
On June 15th Le Preol was shelled by the enemy between 08:00 hours and 08:50 hours. Seely’s Detachment ordered the Dragoons to assemble under cover of the south bank of the canal near Vauxhall Bridge. “B” Squadron was sent to the orchard to continue the advance against Givenchy’s Rue d’Ouvert. The 3rd Battalion had tried twice with frontal assaults and had failed to take their objective. The Dragoons were going to advance from where the 3rd Battalion had advanced but now the enemy had more snipers and artillery in place. The assault was delayed 15 minutes and then cancelled. Had the advance taken place the Royal Canadian Fragoon would have been destroyed to a man.
It was during the shelling when Corporal MacDonald received wounds to his knee from shrapnel and he was taken to and treated at No. 2 Field Ambulance before being transferred to a Casualty Clearing Station. Then on June 17th he was admitted to No. 11 British General Hospital located in Boulogne.
During surgery the shrapnel was removed and the knee drained. During the following days dressings were done under anaesthetic and the knee washed out.
On July 8th his temperature rose and he companed of pain. The knee began to swell.
On July 9th the leg was amputated above the knee joint and the vein which was infected was removed.
The condition of Corporal MacDonald did not improve and he lost the battle for life on July 15, 1915.