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John McDonald

285031 Private

1/6th Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), 153rd Infantry Brigade, 51st (Highland) Division.

Age: 19

Date of Death: 2.7.17

Buried: Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery I.E.6

Family history: Son of Mr and Mrs Angus and Jane McDonald, 437 Cullen Terrace, Carron Road, Falkirk. Before enlisting in October 1915, he was employed as a moulder at the Mungal Foundry. His father had enlisted and was serving in the Machine Gun Corps before being discharged on medical grounds. His brother, James, serving with the 1/7th Argyll’s was discharged as a result of wounds received. Their son-in-law Able Seaman Peter McNeil, Royal Naval Division, was killed in action on 24 April 1917.

The action leading to his death

The Battalion was employed in providing working parties for the Royal Engineers and were billeted in the Canal Bank Dugouts at the Yser Canal.

(Linesman Map)

His mother received letters from both the Battalion Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Colonel T M Booth and the Battalion chaplain. They both expressed their sympathy at her loss and gave details of how her son was killed. He died with fourteen others when a shell destroyed their dug out. The letter from Lt Col Booth states that her son was buried in a military cemetery with a burial party carrying him to his grave and a piper played a lament after the service. He also advised that he was arranging for a cross to be placed to mark her sons grave.

Medals Awarded

The British War Medal, Victory Medal.

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