John Dougald MacGillivray, MM

Photo reproduced with permission from the Antigonish Heritage Museum and the Arras Branch 59, Royal Canadian Legion, 294 Main St, Antigonish NS Canada B2G 2C4


Apr 6, 1891

Born to Angus and Mary (nee Cameron) MacGillivray at Antigonish Nova Scotia


Aug 2, 1915

Attested into the 64th Battalion at Halifax Nova Scotia 

Ø      Number 469128

Ø      Next of kin given as Mary MacGillivray (mother) of Antigonish Nova Scotia

Ø      Previous occupation given as Time Keeper

Ø      Previous military experience given as 3 years in the18th Battery

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic


Oct 1, 1915

Appointed to the Provisional Rank of Lance Corporal


Dec 1, 1915

Promoted to the Provisional Rank of Corporal


Feb 1, 1916

Promoted to the Provisional Rank of Sergeant


Mar 31, 1916

Embarked the SS Adriatic at Halifax Nova Scotia



Apr 9, 1916

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to Bramshott


Apr 21, 1916

Appointed to rank of Acting Sergeant without pay


May 12, 1916

Promoted to permanent rank of Corporal and retained the rank of A/Sgt


Jun 18, 1916

Appointed to rank of Acting Sergeant with pay


Jul 6, 1916

Transferred to the 40th Reserve Battalion at Shorncliffe


Jul 13, 1916

Posted to the 21st Battalion


Jul 14, 1916

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) at the Rouelles Camp, Havre France and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion 

Reduced to rank of Pte on arrival in France


Aug 5, 1916

Left the CBD for the 2nd Entrenching Battalion


Aug 8, 1916

Joined the 2nd Entrenching Battalion at the Halifax Camp


Sep 17, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field and was assigned to “D” Company 

The Battalion had just been relieved from the fighting on the Somme where they had completed an attack on the German strong point in a Sugar Factory.  On relief, they moved into billets in the Brickfields at Albert where on parade the following day discovered that they had suffered over 400 casualties in the previous 2 days of fighting. 


Feb 5, 1917

Appointed to rank of Acting Lance Corporal without pay


Mar 12, 1917

Awarded the Military Medal per London Gazette #29981


Citation reads

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack on the German lines.   This NCO acted as 1st bayonet man of his bombing section and by his coolness and personal bravery, he enabled his squad to quickly mop up the German line, and was the means of saving the lives of many of hi comrades

AFW 3121


May 12, 1917

Promoted to rank of Corporal to replace Cpl John Packer 59768, who had been promoted


Jul 14, 1917

Appointed to rank of Acting Sergeant with pay to replace Sgt AA Trappitt 59995, who had been appointed Acting Company Sergeant Major


Aug 15, 1917

Promoted to rank of Sergeant to replace Sgt Howard 59484, who had been killed in action


Nov 12, 1917

Sgt MacGillivray was wounded during the heavy fighting at Passchendaele and admitted to the No 3 Australian CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) with a shrapnel wound to the right buttock which became severely infected  

He was transferred the same day to via the No 21 Ambulance Train


Nov 13, 1917

Admitted to the No 1 South African General Hospital at Abbeville


Nov 21, 1917

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Carisbrook Castle


Posted to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) while in hospital


Nov 22, 1917

Admitted to the Graylingwell War Hospital at Chichester


Dec 12, 1917

Transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom


Dec 21, 1917

Discharged from hospital and TOS the 6th Reserve Battalion


Apr 11, 1918

Posted to the 21st Battalion 

Arrived at No 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) at Etaples France and TOS the 21st Battalion


Apr 14, 1918

Left 2 CIBD for the CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp)


Apr 16, 1918

Arrived at CC Rein C at Calonne Ricouart 

While at the CC Rein C, the Camp was moved to Aubin St Vaast


May 10, 1918

Left CC Rein C to join his unit


May 12, 1918

Joined the 21st Battalion in the field 

The Battalion was in the front line trenches and he joined the Rear Detail at Bellacourt. 


May 15, 1918

He was moved from the Rear Detail up to the Front Line to join the main part of the Battalion


May 18, 1918

Sgt MacGillivray received a Bronze Medal on parade from the Commanding Officer for his efforts the previous September in the Falling Plate Rifle Competition


Aug 25, 1918

Posted to the EORD in England pending being Commissioned


Aug 27, 1918

TOS EORD in England


Aug 29, 1918

On Command to the 1st Reserve Battalion pending admittance to the OTC (Officer Training Course)


Sep 11, 1918

On Command to the OTC at Bexhill


Nov 4, 1918

Commissioned to rank of Lieutenant and posted to the 6th Reserve Battalion


Feb 25, 1919

Posted to the 21st Battalion


Feb 26, 1919

Arrived in France and TOS the 21st Battalion


Mar 1, 1919

Joined the 21st Battalion at Ham-Sur-Sambre Belgium


Mar 30, 1919

The Battalion entrained at Auvelais Belgium for Havre to begin the journey home to Canada.  Lt MacGillivray was given the honour of carrying the Battalion’s Colours on that trip.  On arrival at Havre, he was detailed as the Battalion’s Orderly Officer


Apr 3, 1919

Embarked the Western Australia at Havre



Apr 4, 1919

Disembarked in England and proceeded to the Witley Camp 

TOS “P” Wing at Witley pending return to Canada


May 6, 1919

Several Officers and 115 Other Ranks of the 21st Battalion participated in a parade of Dominion Troops through the streets of London winding up at Buckingham Palace where His Majesty the King presented many medals, including presentations to 8 Officers of the 21st Battalion.  Lt MacGillivray again had the honour of carrying the Battalion’s Colours for this parade


May 14, 1919

Embarked the RMS Caronia at Liverpool



May 22, 1919

Disembarked at Halifax Nova Scotia and proceeded by train to Kingston Ontario


May 28, 1919

Discharged from the CEF at Kingston Ontario 

Proposed residence on discharge St Ninian St, Antigonish Nova Scotia.  A War Service Badge Class “A” was issued, but the number was not recorded in the file.  Most of the members of the Battalion were discharged on May 24, but Lt MacGillivray, MM was kept on for the extra 4 days to assist with some administrative duties.


Jun 20, 1921

British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to him at Antigonish Nova Scotia


Sep 12, 1922

Married to Margaret Wilmot at St Ninian Cathedral, Antigonish Nova Scotia

Research by author Steve Nichol indicates that he continued his Military service in Nova Scotia and rose to the rank of Major

Jun 2, 1957

Died at Antigonish Nova Scotia 

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