Frank Harold DONALDSON

DONALDSON, Frank Harold

Service Number: 3088
Enlisted: 17 July 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 60th Infantry Battalion
Born: Raywood, Victoria, Australia, 29 June 1895
Home Town: Inglewood, Loddon, Victoria
Schooling: Kerang State School, Kerang, Victoria, Australia
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed in Action, France, 19 July 1916, aged 21 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Bendigo Great War Roll of Honor, Calivil Football Club Honor Roll, Inglewood War Memorial, V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial
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World War 1 Service

17 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 3088, Depot Battalion
18 Nov 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3088, 21st Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '13' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Wiltshire embarkation_ship_number: A18 public_note: ''
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3088, 21st Infantry Battalion, HMAT Wiltshire, Melbourne
26 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 60th Infantry Battalion, Egypt
19 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3088, 60th Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix), --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 3088 awm_unit: 60th Australian Infantry Battalion awm_rank: Private awm_died_date: 1916-07-19

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Biography contributed by Robert Wight

Statement, Red Cross File No 931006:

3090 Corporal D.D. DONALDSON, 60th Bn, 20 September 1916: 'Was killed by Machine Gun fire out in No Man's Land at Fleurbaix about 7 p.m. 19th July. He was my brother and I was with him when he died.'

Additional note on file, 6 October 1916: 'Killed by Machine gun (sic) fire & died in same shell-hole, where his brother was wounded and who gives this information, and has cabled particulars to Australia.'


Inglewood Advertiser, 3/10/1916 – From a Letter from his brother Don, dated 15/8/16:
"About Franks death:
We were no time in France before we were into the trenches, as you know by my other letters, and when it became known that we had to charge the German trenches on July 16th everybody was in a fever of excitement. Well, they kept postponing the charge until we believed it was all off. Wish to God it had been, but on the 19th, at 6.45 p.m., we had to go over the parapet 400 yards to the German line.

We were in the second wave to "hopover," and things were very hot, bullets flying all round us. We got within 100 yards of the German trench when poor little Frank went down, badly hit in the groin. I ran to help him into a shell-hole close by, when I got one through a finger of the left hand - thought my hand was gone. Then, just as I got the poor kid to the hole, he got another through the same place, and one through the arm, and I got it in the foot - blew half my foot right open. I tried to bandage Frank, but our field dressings were not long enough, and I could not make a proper job of it. Then I tied a piece of string around my leg to stop the circulation of the blood, which stopped my foot from bleeding.

Poor little Frank knew he was going, and asked me to say the Lord's Prayer with him, and said, "Poor old Dad." But he was as brave as could be, and when his time had come a few hours later he died game and said goodbye to me quite calmly. In fact, he took it a good deal better than I did. I would gladly have changed places with him, for he made me feel a bit of a coward, the calm way he was taking it. So you have something to be proud of, Dad, for he died the way you would have any of us die, and he has shown us the way. Anyhow, he has shown me."