Charles Herman Donaldson



Aug 24, 1896

Born in Millbridge, Tudor Township, Ontario to James and Sarah Matilda (nee Gunter) Donaldson


Dec 30, 1915

Attested into the 155th Battalion in Madoc, Ontario 

Ø      Number 636140

Ø      Next of kin given as Matilda Donaldson, mother, Lake Geneva, Alberta

Ø      Previous occupation given as Telegraph Operator

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Church of England 

On attesting he gave his birth year as 1897 

The battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area


Mar 29, 1916

Promoted to the provisional rank of Sergeant


Jun 8, 1916

Reverted to the rank of Private


Jun 16, 1916

Appointed to the rank of Acting Corporal


Oct 17, 1916

Embarked the SS Northland in Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Embarkation Roll shows his rank as Private


Oct 28, 1916

Disembarked in Liverpool, England and the battalion proceeded to Bramshott


Nov 11, 1916

Appointed to the rank of Acting Sergeant without pay


Nov 15, 1916

Attached to the CAPC (Canadian Army Pay Corps), Liphook Detachment for duty


Nov 24, 1916

Transferred to the CAPC in London


Dec 8, 1916

Transferred to the 154th Battalion in Bramshott but remained attached to the CAPC


Jan 31, 1917

Transferred to the newly formed 6th Reserve Battalion in East Sandling, but remained attached to the CAPC.  Shortly after the formation of the battalion, it was moved to Seaford


Apr 12, 1917

Ceased to be attached to the CAPC and joined the 6th Reserve Battalion in Seaford. 


Jun 5, 1917

Posted to the 21st Battalion


Jun 6, 1917

Arrived at the CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France and was TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion.  He reverted to his permanent rank of Private on joining the battalion


Jun 23, 1917

Left the CIBD and joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion in Hersin


Jul 21, 1917

A work party for the entrenching battalion came under an artillery barrage and Private Charles Donaldson was killed before having a chance to join the 21st Battalion at the front.  He was buried in the Bully Grenay Communal Cemetery, Bully les Mines, France



Following the war the British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to his sister, Miss Grace M. Donaldson, Lake Geneva, Alberta


The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. James Donaldson, at the same address


Although the CWGC shows his death as being on July 20, 1917, the 2nd Entrenching Battalion War Diary records his death as being July 21, 1917, while on a working party on the outskirts of Lens along with Pte J Leach 59573, Pte J Krampe 412251, and Pte MW Lahey, 640004, all of the 21st Battalion.  According to the Circumstances of Death file it would appear that the same shell explosion killed them all.


Charles Donaldson is honoured on the Bancroft, Ontario War Memorial



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