The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private Alexander McDonald

Ancestor Details

Name of Ancestor: Alexander Norman McDonald

Ancestor's date of birth: 27/08/1875

Ancestor's date of death: 25/08/1964

Cause of Death: Natural causes due to old age.

Service and Life Before the Boer War: Alexander had no Armed Forces service prior to his enlistment in the Boer War. He worked as a fencing contractor, wrote poetry, was a musician and Presbyterian church elder.

Service Number: 28

Colony or State of enlistment: VIC, Place of Enlistment: Cooranook?

Unit: 1st Victorian Mounted Rifles

Rank attained in Boer War: PTE, Date Effective: 1899

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): No evidence of post Boer War military service

Murray Page: 224

Contingent: First Victorian

Ship: Medic, Date of Sailing: 28/10/1899

Memorial details: Detail not provided.

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Cape Colony, Orange Free State and Transvaal clasps. Reputed to have been Mentioned in Despatches, (unable to verify).

Personal Characteristics: Alexander was religious, honorable, generous and reliable. He was a church elder and would have cultural afternoons at his home on Sunday afternoons where there would be music played, poetry and elocution orations by local artists and performers.

Reasons to go and fight: Patriotism and a sense of adventure.

Details of service in war: November 1899 - October 1900 in northern Cape Colony including defence of Pink Hill where five killed (12 February 1900), in Free State, and in east Transvaal.

Service and life after the Boer War: He married Mary Jane Ibbs in Mansfield Victoria on 26 April 1905. He continued as a Fencing Contractor in the Drouin area on his return from active service. Continued as a Fencing Contractor with his son Iain, until incapacitated by a stroke in his mid sixties.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Gail Farrington, Miners Rest VIC
Relationship to Ancestor: Grand daughter


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields