DIVISIONAL UNIT: 1st Canadian Infantry Division,
1st Infantry Brigade,
2nd Battalion - Eastern Ontario,
Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO: 400637
RESIDENCE: Cranbrook - Ontario
DATE OF BIRTH: May 17, 1890
Cranbrook – Grey Township – County of Huron - Ontario
DATE OF DEATH: March 2, 1916 25 years 9 months
CEMETERY: R. E. Farm Cemetery – Heuvelland –
West Vlaanderan – Belgium
III A 18
MOTHER: Mrs. Elizabeth McDonald – Cranbrook - Ontario
Occupation: Farmer Religion: Presbyterian
Enlistment: January 12, 1915 – Clinton – Ontario into 33rd Battalion
Enlistment Age: 24 years 7 months
Private McDonald sailed from Montreal on the S.S. Hesperian bound for England and arrived there August 26, 1915. He then transferred to the 9th Battalion based at Shorncliffe in Kent, then moved to the2nd Battalion and went to France on January 19, 1916 joining his unit already in the field on February 3, 1916.
Private McDonald lost his life on either March 1st / 2nd, 1916 while performing his duties in battle while in the trenches north east of Wulverghem.
On March 2nd, there was a gentle breeze from the east and it was bright the whole day. A “gas alert” was in place beginning at 8:45am.
The British V Corp attacked the “Bluff” to the north and this operation proved to be successful.
The Brigade and Battalion were to occupy the attention of the enemy across from them and cause as much damage and loss to them as possible without launching an attack. The Division artillery was to bombard the enemy between 3-5 pm onto the enemy trenches and frontal areas in an attempt to cut their wire.
Then early on March 2nd as the British V attacked the enemy the Brigade was to bring enfilade machine gun fire onto the front of the enemy so that he would have to man his defence positions as the British attacked elsewhere. The plan later on the 2nd was for the enemy to think an attack was coming where their wire had been cut earlier by the Division artillery.
It is thought that when the enemy replied with his artillery, machine gun and rifle fire was when Private McDonald was killed in the Brigade front line trenches.