John Mann Macdonald

Military Information

  • Date of enlistment:
  • Place of enlistment: Dundee
  • Service no: 2056
  • Rank: Sergeant
  • Service Occupation:
  • Awards: Distinguished Conduct Medal
  • Regiment/Service: Black Watch
  • Unit/Ship: 4th Battalion
  • Place of Death: France
  • Age at Death:
  • Date of Death: 08.05.1915
  • Burial Country: France
  • Cemetery: Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez
  • Grave/Mem Ref no: XVII.A.5.

Personal Information

  • Date of Birth:
  • Place of Birth: Dundee
  • Address: 2a Bell St, Dundee
  • Occupation:
  • Mother:

    Helen Mann Macdonald, 76 Victoria Rd, Dundee

  • Father:

    Charles Wilkie Macdonald, 76 Victoria Rd, Dundee

  • Siblings:

    David Macdonald

  • Spouse:
  • Children:

More about John Mann Macdonald

John was the brother of Sgt David Macdonald, 200063, 4th/5th Battalion, Black Watch, who was killed in action 31.07.1917.

John Macdonald   2056   4th (City of Dundee) Battalion Black Watch



To receive the welcome news that their son had gained the Distinguished Conduct Medal, and then to learn a week later that he had died of heart failure at the front, has been the sad lot of the parents of Sergeant John Macdonald, 4th (City of Dundee) Battalion Black Watch, who reside at 2A Bell Street, Dundee.

Sergeant Macdonald distinguished himself by the fine manner in which he led his section at Neuve Chapelle.

A letter was received by his parents from Major E. Tosh, of the Fourth, stating that the gallant non-com, had died of heart failure in a dugout, and further letters from a younger brother, Sergeant David Macdonald, also of Dundee’s Own, and Major James S. Y. Rogers, the chief medical officer attached to the battalion, confirmed this sad news.

Sergeant David Macdonald states that his brother died on 8th inst., and was buried with military honours at Vieille Chapelle the same day.  The brothers met on the preceding night, and the John seemed to be in the best of health.

An Officer’s Tribute.

Major Rogers’ letter says that he was sent for at 7 a.m., and was told that Sergeant Macdonald was unconscious, but when he arrived he found that the unfortunate soldier had been dead for nearly an hour.  It appeared to him (Major Rogers) that Sergeant Macdonald must have had a sudden attack of heart failure.

The letter proceeds:—“He was a splendid fellow, both as a soldier and a man, always ready for any amount of hard work, and always fearless of danger.  He was a great example to the men.  He has had but a few days to enjoy the honour he so justly earned, and about which he was so modest.  This sudden call has left us all with sad hearts.  I mourn with you for the loss of your son, and yet more for one of Britain’s sons and heroes.  He responded to the call of King and Country, and now the King of Kings hath need of him, and he has gone to his rest.  All honour and glory are his.”

Sergeant Macdonald was 25 years of age, and he had been connected with the battalion for between eight and nine years.  He was in Canada when the war clouds burst over Europe, and he came home with a brother-in-law to rejoin his old colours.  When in Dundee he was employed at Lilybank Foundry as a patternmaker.

Dundee Courier 13th May 1915

Additional information and image kindly supplied by Michael Caldwell

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