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Donald McLeod


201979 Gunner

466th Battery, 65th, Army Field Artillery Brigade, Royal Field Artillery

Age: 35

Date of Death: 6.10.17

Buried: Dozinghem Military Cemetery V.G.7

Family History: Husband of Elizabeth Hodge, 3 Munro Street, Stenhousemuir; previously 12 Church Street, Middlesborough. They had three children.

Bio - The Celtic Wiki - From Robert Hoskins’, Celtic Football Club and the Great War

Donnie McLeod, signed for Celtic from Stenhousemuir on 10 May 1902 and played six seasons making 155 appearances, in a glorious era, and eventually took over from the well-loved Barney Battles in the Celtic side. A very good defender he lined up with Willie Orr in front of David Adams in 1904 and never looked back. He was said to be a two footed player who was “fearless… of tremendous speed“, and was dubbed ´Slasher´ due to his sheer speed and his ability as a two-footed player full making him an instant hit with the Celtic support. From the off in his debut, a 2-1 victory over Third Lanark, he was to be a regular in the first team that season and then for much of his time at Celtic. His partnership with Jimmy Weir is regarded as one of the most effective defensive partnerships the club has ever had.


Donnie McLeod was to be an integral part of the side who kick-started the club´s unprecedented feat of six Championships in a row from 1904. His partnership with Jimmy Weir was deemed to be near invincible and when he was later transferred to Middlesborough in 1910 Weir followed him South to form a duo described as ´the most dogged, dour and fearless pair of backs in England´.


One event for which we should be eternally grateful to Donnie McLeod for is his bringing the great Alec McNair to Celtic. Alec McNair went on to be one of Celtic’s greatest ever players and played more games than anyone else for our club. In 1907, Celtic won the Scottish Cup in a 3-0 win over Hearts. Donnie McLeod played in the defence that day who more than ably contained any Hearts attack, in a game regarded as one of the most memorable in the early days of the club’s history. The club sealed a league & cup double.

However, despite some great service a poor game in the Glasgow Cup v Queen’s Park (4-4) in 1908 signalled the end for him and he was gone within a month to Middlesborough. It was a sad end to a good stalwart for the club, but he played his part in an era that is very fondly remembered and he will forever be respected for that time. If nothing else, his move will have added some new supporters to the Middlesborough terracing from the Celtic numbers.


Interestingly he makes a challenge as one of the select group of outfield players to have played the most games for Celtic without ever scoring a goal for the first team (in a competitive game). Bobby Hogg holds the record, having amassed a far greater tally without scoring any goals for the first team. Donnie played four times for Scotland and didn’t score.


The action leading to his death

The 65th, Army Field Artillery Brigade was a new Brigade formed in England and landed in France on 2 May 1917. On 6 October, 466th Battery was under the tactical control of the Guards Divisional Artillery in the vicinity of Langemark and were adding fire support in preparation for the attack during what became known as the Battle of Poelcappelle. During this action Donald was wounded, probably from enemy counter battery fire, and he died of his wounds on October 6th, 1917.

(Linesman Map)


Medals Awarded

The British War Medal, Victory Medal.


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