Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthSeptember 9, 1898
Place of BirthRat Portage (Kenora), Ontario
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinMary McDonald, mother, Beausejour, Manitoba
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionRoman Catholic
Service Details
Regimental Number865060
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion44th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentBrandon, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentBrandon PO, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 22, 1916
Age at Enlistment17
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details

McDonald, Archibald Joseph

According to his baptism record, Archibald (Archie) Jospeh McDonald was born on 9 September 1898 in Rat Portage (later renamed Kenora), Ontario. His father Duncan Alexander McDonald was from Ontario while his mother Mary Elizabeth Kerr was from Scotland, the couple marrying on 21 October 1886 in East Selkirk, Manitoba. By the time of the 1891 census the family was living in Rat Portage where Duncan was working as a carpenter. Shortly after the 1901 census the family moved near Beausejour, Manitoba to farm. Archie’s known siblings born in Rat Portage were James Patrick (1889-1926), Ellen (1890), Duncan Alexander (Alex) (1892), George Angus (1893-1915), Walter John (1896), and  Thomas Hugh (1900), with siblings William (1903), Duncan Donald (1905), and Archibald (abt 1907) born in Manitoba.

Archie signed his attestation papers on 22 February 1916 in Brandon, Manitoba. His date and place of birth was given as 10 September 1897 in “Canaro”, Ontario, occupation as farmer, and his mother Mary in Beausejour as next of kin. As a Private with the 181st Battalion, Archie embarked from Halifax aboard the Grampian on 16 April 1917. Upon arrival in England the battalion was absorbed by the 18th Reserve Battalion at Dibgate. That June Archie was transferred to the 44th Battalion for duty overseas, joining the unit in the field on the 5th of July. On 28 October 1917 at the Ypres front, he sustained a shrapnel wound to the scalp. First admitted to the 1 Anzac Corps Central Bureau, that day Archie was transferred to the No1 Canadian Field Ambulance. On the 2nd of November he was invalided to England and admitted to the Kitchener Military Hospital in Brighton. Transferring to the Military Convalescent Hospital Woodcote Park in Epsom by the end of the month, Archie was discharged from the hospital on 4 January 1818. That February he was awarded a Good Conduct badge. After going through a series of transfers, he rejoined the 44th Battalion in late April. From late August to early October Archie was hospitalized in France with interconnective tissue problems in his left foot. Returning to the unit on the 5th, by the 10th he was admitted to the No 7 Canadian General Hospital in Étaples as dangerously ill with bronchial pneumonia. Invalided to England, he was admitted to the 4 Canadian General Hospital at Basingstoke where he would remain until 9 January 1919. With the end of the war Archie embarked for Canada aboard the Scotian, arriving in Saint John, New Brunswick on 19 February 1919. He was discharged from service on demobilization on 31 March 1919 in Winnipeg.

Little is known about Archie’s life after the war. At the time of the 1921 census he was not living with his family in Beausejour. A notation in his service record in May of 1939 gave Rev GWF McKinney on Mayfair Avenue in Winnipeg as a contact. Archie’s death and final resting place are unknown.

By Judy Thorburn

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