Alexander Henry (“Fighting Mac”) MACDONALD

MACDONALD, Alexander Henry

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 2 January 1915
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Perth, Western Australia, 12 February 1894
Home Town: Hyde Park, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Warehouseman
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World War 1 Service

2 Jan 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Officer
23 Oct 1916: Involvement Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Port Melbourne embarkation_ship_number: A16 public_note: ''
23 Oct 1916: Embarked Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Port Melbourne, Adelaide
1 Nov 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 10th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Wounded 10th Infantry Battalion

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Born 12 February 1894 at Perth, Western Australia.

Son of the late Donald MacDonald, who by occupation was a Warehouse Manager.

During the Great War his mother (Mrs N MacDonald) resided at No. 14 Craven Terrace, Lancaster Gate, London W2.

He was educated at North Adelaide.

At the time of joining the AIF he was employed as a Warehouseman by D & W Murray Ltd, of Adelaide.

He was residing at Hyde Park.

Being a compulsory trainee, he had joined the 78th (Adelaide Rifles) Infantry, in which he was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant, provisionally, on 1 July 1915 ie. six months after receiving his first commission in the AIF.

He was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the AIF on 1 January 1915 and on 16 January 1915 was posted to the 2nd reinforcement  of the 10th Battalion of with Captain H W H Seager was C.O. 

With this quota of reinforcements he subsequently entrained for Melbourne, where he embarked per HMAT A46 Clan MacGillivray on 2 February 1915 and proceeding to Egypt subsequently joined the 10th Battalion on the Ionian in the Mudros Harbour on 8 April 1915. 

He was then posted to D Company and landed with this platoon from the destroyer Scourge at the historic landing on 25 April 1915.  Whilst on the Peninsula (4 August 1915) he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, but through illness was forced to evacuate on 23 September 1915 and passing through the Field Hospital at Lemnos was subsequently admitted to the 2nd Australian General (Gezireh Palace) at Cairo. 

Later he embarked on the Wandilla and arriving back in Adelaide in December 1915, his service with the AIF terminating on 28 January 1916, amended to 24 March 1916 and reamended to 5 Mary 1916.

Desirous of returning overseas, he rejoined the AIF at Mitcham about September 1916, and was posted to the 21st reinforcements of the 10th Battalion, which embarked at Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide, South Australia per HMAT A16 Port Melbourne on 23 October 1916.

He proceeded to England and joined the 10th Battalion in France on 25 February 1917 but in March 1917 was evacuated ill and on returning to England was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth.

He returned to France and rejoined the Battalion about August 1917 and was promoted to the rank of Captain on 1 November 1917.  

On 1 March 1918 (prior to the Hollebeke Operation) he was appointed O.C. of a special raiding party, but that night, when he first led his party in action, he was badly wounded in an ear and forced to evacuate, Lieutenant F J S Mead assuming Command of the party.

Proceeding to England, he was admitted to the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth, and subsequently embarked on the Arawa, arriving back in Adelaide in November 1918.

His services in the AIF terminating on 3 December 1918.

Returning to civil life, he subsequently entered into business partnership with Lieutenant A B Baker, of the 10th Battalion AIF, and in 1923 proceeded to Sydney, where as a manufacturers’ agent he controlled the Sydney branch at Strand Arcade, George Street, there being branches also in Adelaide, Brisbane and Melbourne.

On 5 May 1920 at St Theodore’s Church, Rose Park, he married Zillah Elsie, daughter of John Hunter, of Rose Park, and in 1935 was residing at Valley Road, Springwood, New South Wales.

Whilst in the 10th Battalion he was affectionately known to rank and file as “Fighting Mac.”

Extract from “The Fighting 10th”, Adelaide, Webb & Son, 1936 by C.B.L. Lock; kindly supplied courtesy of the 10th Bn AIF Association Committee, April 2015.