Donald Hector MacLean
aka Donald Hector McLean

Jun 18, 1865

Born in King Township, York County, Ontario to Hector and Sarah (nee Frith) MacLean


Sep 12, 1899

Married to Edith Mary Fry in Quebec City, Quebec



Nov 9, 1914

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Kingston, Ontario


Ø  Rank Major

Ø  Next of kin given as Edith M. MacLean, wife, Ottawa, Ontario

Ø  Previous occupation given as Barrister at Law

Ø  No previous military experience given

o   Later noted as having served in the Governor General’s Foot Guard in Ottawa

Ø  Religion given as Baptist

Ø  Posted the Headquarters Staff in command of the Transport Section

The 21st Battalion trained in the Kingston, Ontario area through the winter of 1914-15.

The surname appears throughout the service file as either MacLean or McLean.  I have chosen to use MacLean as that is the spelling used on both his Baptism Certificate and on his grave marker.  It is also the spelling under which his name is listed with Library and Archives Canada


Dec 30, 1914

Granted leave until January 7, 1915


Mar 31, 1915

The Transport Section, along with horses and wagons, proceeded to England as an advance party to arrange for the arrival of the full battalion.

The battalion arrived in Devonport, England May 15, 1915 and reunited with the Transport Section in the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent where the battalion continued training


Sep 14, 1915

When the 21st Battalion embarked for France, Major MacLean remained behind with the CTD (Canadian Training Depot)


Oct 26, 1915

Proceeded to France on Conducting Duty escorting reinforcements for the front


Oct 30, 1915

Returned to the training depot in England from Conducting Duty


Apr 1, 1916

Transferred to the General List and attached to the 39th Reserve Battalion in West Sandling


May 8, 1916

Proceeded to France and attached to the 21st Battalion for 1 month of instruction


Jun 12, 1916

Ceased to be attached to the 21st Battalion and returned to the Canadian Training Depot in England


Jun 14, 1916

Ceased to be attached to the 39th Reserve Battalion and posted to the General List of Officers


Aug 2, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Aug 3, 1916

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


Aug 6, 1916

After leaving the base depot, Donald MacLean rejoined the 21st Battalion resting in the Chippawa Camp near La Clytte, Belgium



Nov 15, 1916

Appointed to the position of Town Major in Bully Grenay, France


Mar 3, 1917

Appointed to the position of Town Major in Gauchin Legal, France


Sep 9, 1917

Ceased to be Town Major and rejoined the 21st Battalion resting in Villers au Bois, France


Sep 18, 1917

When he accidentally fell into a shell crater, Major MacLean severely sprained his right ankle and was evacuated to the No. 10 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) for first aid


Sep 24, 1917

Transferred to the Liverpool Merchants Hospital in Etaples, France and the diagnosis was changed to read Fractured Ankle


Oct 11, 1917

Discharged to duty from hospital


Nov 25, 1917

Transferred to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) in England after being classified PB (Permanent Base) meaning he was unfit for front line duty


Dec 11, 1917

Medical Board in Seaford notes

Ø  Man appears older than stated age

Ø  Suffers from shortness of breath on exertion

Ø  Arteriosclerosis is present

Ø  He is permanently unfit for general service


Jan 28, 1918

Attached to OMFC (Overseas Military Force of Canada) Headquarters in London pending return to Canada


Feb 2, 1918

Embarked the SS Olympic in Liverpool



Feb 13, 1918

Disembarked in Halifax, Nova Scotia and proceeded to Ottawa, Ontario




Feb 28, 1918

Medical exam in Ottawa notes

Ø  Home address given as Central Chambers, Ottawa, Ontario

Ø  General health is good

Ø  Suffers discomfort from previously fractured ankle


Jul 1, 1918

Transferred to the 1st Depot Battalion, Eastern Ontario Regiment in Kingston to be employed with administration of the MSA (Military Service Act)


Jan 20, 1920

Transferred to Military District No. 3 in Kingston, Ontario


Jan 21, 1920

Medical exam in Kingston notes

Ø  Rank shown as Lieutenant Colonel

Ø  Home address given as Central Chambers, Ottawa, Ontario

Ø  Man is overage

Ø  Suffers from discomfort from previously fractured ankle

Ø  Suffers from Bronchitis

Ø  Has soreness across his chest and is short of breath and coughs frequently

Ø  Claims to have been treated at the front by the 21st Battalion’s Medical Officer for his Bronchitis

Ø  1 month of sick leave is recommended


Feb 20, 1920

Discharged from the CEF in Kingston, Ontario with the rank of Major.

Entitled to War Service Badge Class “A”

There are some documents in his file that show his rank as that of Lieutenant Colonel.  I could find no entry in the file to indicate that he actually received that promotion.  It is likely that he received the promotion in Kingston after the war ended and the page showing that promotion is missing.


Nov 18, 1924

Donald Hector MacLean died in his home at 290 Fairmont Ave., Ottawa, Ontario of Myocarditis and was buried in the Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa, Ontario.  His death was determined to be a result of his service at the front.



Following his death, the Memorial Cross, Plaque, Scroll, British War Medal and Victory Medals were sent to his widow, Mrs. Edith M. MacLean, 185 Grande Allee, Quebec City, Quebec

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