Charles Cleland (CC) MCDONALD


MCDONALD, Charles Cleland

Service Number: 2449
Enlisted: 21 June 1915, Keswick, South Australia, Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Ninnes, South Australia, Australia, 1 May 1887
Home Town: Port Lincoln, Port Lincoln, South Australia
Schooling: Athelstone Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Apiarist
Died: Killed in Action, France, 3 October 1918, aged 31 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
No known grave
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial, Roll of Honour, Port Lincoln & District Honor Roll WW1, Port Lincoln Garden of Remembrance, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France), Yallunda Flat Memorial Park
Show Relationships

World War 1 Service

21 Jun 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia, Australia
13 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2449, 27th Infantry Battalion
13 Oct 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2449, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Themistocles, Adelaide
3 Oct 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 2449, 27th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Wounded SN 2449, 27th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement 27th Infantry Battalion, Pozières

Help us honour Charles Cleland McDonald's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.


Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Chronicle (Adelaide, SA: 1895 - 1954) Saturday 4 October 1919


McDonald. — Killed in action, October 3, 1918, Charles Cleland, second dearly loved son of Robert and Jeanette J. McDonald, and beloved husband of Mollie, aged 31 years 5 months, after three years of active service, late of Port Lincoln.

Lead, kindly light,          

And we see a beckoning finger

Guiding us to that far-off shore.

McDONALD. — In loving memory of my beloved   husband, Corporal C. C. McDonald, killed in action 3rd October, 1918. "Someday we'll understand." — Inserted by his loving wife, Mollie McDonald.



Biography contributed by Geoffrey Stewart

Charles was born on 1 May 1887 at Ninnes (near Lochiel SA) to Robert McDonald  and Jeanetta Jane McDonald  (nee Ebsary).  There were 7 children in the family, 5 boys and 2 girls, of which he was the second eldest. He completed his schooling at Athelstone Public School. His father was a farmer/apiarist.

The family arrived in Port Lincoln in 1906 and moved to the Warunda Creek area before later moving to Koppio/ Yallunda Flat area. Both he and his father were apiarists so would have travelled fairly widely to ensure that their bees had adequate supplies of pollen. CC continued in this employ until he enlisted in the Army on 21 June 1915, the locality of enlistment being recorded as Keswick.

He was then sent to 2nd Depot Battalion for training before being posted to 5th reinforcements/27th Bn on 1 September 1915 and embarked for Alexandria from Australia aboard HMAT "Ballarat" two weeks later. He was taken on strength by his unit on 16 January 1916 at Tel-el-Kabir (Middle East) and almost immediately admitted to 7th Field Ambulance in Ismalia with influenza, returning to his unit on 12 February 1916. Four days later he embarked from Alexandria, with his Battalion bound for  Marseilles (France) and the Western Front.

The 27th Battalion was raised in Adelaide on 16 March 1915 and deployed from Australia to the Middle East on 31 May 1915; after further training in the Middle East it landed in Gallipoli on 12 Sep 1915, remaining there until the withdrawal on 19 Dec 1915 when it returned to Egypt via Lemnos. A period of retraining and reorganisation followed; it was at this time that CC  joined his unit, just prior to its deployment to France.

The Battalion first entered the front  line on the Western Front on 7 April 1916 in the area of Armentieres (Fr).

CC was Wounded in Action (WIA) on 4 August 1916 with gunshot wounds to the back and left shoulder, sustained during the battle of Bapaume. His wounds were described as severe and he was evacuated through 37th Field Ambulance to 13th Army General Hospital and then by HS "Jan Breydel" to 1st London General Hospital in UK.

After 5 months in hospital and recuperation he returned to his unit in France on 13 March 1917 and a month later was promoted to Lance Corporal. On 16 June 1917, he was again evacuated to UK, this time through 56th Casualty Clearing Station and 5th Army General Hospital at Rouen onto HS "Aberdonian" before admission to 1st London General Hospital with Trench Fever. After a lengthy stay in hospital and further recuperation he returned to his unit in Belgium on 12 Jan 1918.

In mid 1918 a number of soldiers of the unit who had been in the field for an extended period were given leave to the UK; this included CC. He made good use of his leave, as he married Marion McKinon, a nurse whom he had met during his periods of convalescence, on 1 August 1918 at Edinburgh (Scotland).  It must have been a short honeymoon as he was back at his unit in Belgium a week later!

On 3 September 1918 he was promoted to Corporal. Exactly 1 month later (3 October 1918)  he was killed in action during the battle of Beurevoir, the last action fought by his unit before  the Armistice. At the time of his death it was recorded that "the above named soldier was killed in action as a result of enemy shell fire. He was buried in the copse (of trees) on the Grandicourt side of Lormisset Farm. There is no record of the exact map reference of the grave." - Commanding Officer 27 Battalion

His name is recorded on  the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial as he is one of the many who have no known resting place. It is also recorded on the Yallunda Flat Memorial.