|Date of Birth||June 10, 1888|
|Place of Birth||Stornoway|
|Next of Kin||Wife: Eunice McLean - Keewatin, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Labourer|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||2nd Machine Gun Company|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Branch||Canadian Machine Gun Corps|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Keewatin, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||February 14, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||27|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||December 27, 1983|
|Age at Death||95|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Born on 10 June 1888 in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland, Donald McLean was the son of farmer John McLean and his wife Christina. Donald served five years with the Seaforth Highlanders. In 1906, 18 year old Donald immigrated to Keewatin, Ontario, Canada and obtained work with the Lake of the Woods Flour Milling Company as an elevator man. He met a local Keewatin girl, Eunice McLeod and they were married September 27, 1911 by the Presbyterian Reverend Alex Hamilton in Keewatin. Eunice’s parents Duncan McLeod (regimental #198687) and Mary (Munro) were also from Stornoway in Scotland and had immigrated to southern Ontario in the 1880’s moving later to Keewatin.
With WW1 raging in Europe, Donald enlisted with the 94th Battalion in the neighbouring community of Kenora on 14 February 1916. His company moved to the Lakehead in May and then left for Valcartier, Quebec for training. On 13 June 1916 the 94th sailed from Halifax for England aboard the R.M.S. Olympic. When they landed Donald was transferred to the 17th Reserve Battalion with the rank of Acting Lance Corporal. In September of 1916 Donald reverted to the rank of private at his own request and proceeded to France with the 25th Battalion. In January 1917 he was struck off strength to the 14th Canadian Machine Gun Company in the field. Donald transferred to the Machine Gun Corps in March of 1918 and was promoted to Corporal with the 2nd Battalion Canadian Machine Gun Corps on 09 July. He served until April 1919 when he returned to England and then to Canada. Donald received his official discharge on 25 May 1919 due to demobilization.
After the war he returned home to Keewatin and his job at the flour mill becoming a foreman then a superintendent with the elevator department. He worked here until his retirement in 1965. He was a member of the Keewatin Legion branch # 13 and was active in curling. Donald and Eunice celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary in October 1971. They were the honoured guests at the home of their niece, Mrs. Leo Saunders in Keewatin where an open house was held for family and friends. A few months before the celebration they had moved to Ear Falls to be closer to their son Donald Jr. They also had a daughter Annie ( Mrs. H. Hickey ) who at that time was living on St. Joseph’s Island in Ontario. They were guests while in town at his brother John McLean and his wife’s home in Keewatin.
Eunice passed away in 1978 and was buried in the Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora. Donald lived till the age of 95 and passed away December 27, 1983. He was laid to rest in the Honour Lane Block of the cemetery with Eunice.
Donald McLean of Keewatin is commemorated on a framed scroll, The Municipality of Keewatin – For King and Country, honouring their residents who fought in the Great War. He is also commemorated on a Roll of Honor for Employees of the Lake of the Woods Milling Company Limited.
By Linda Pelletier