William Macrae

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


May 4, 1888

Born in Leith, Scotland


Jun 9, 1915

Attested into the 35th Battalion at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario 

Ø      Number 405630

Ø      Next of kin given as Mrs Beatrice Macrae, mother, 23 Balfour St., Dundee, Scotland

o       There is a note in the file to also notify Miss Thomson, 27 West Ave., Toronto, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Upholsterer

Ø      Previous military experience given as the 48th Highlanders, Canadian Militia

Ø      Religion given as Roman Catholic

Ø      Assigned to “D” Company


Oct 16, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec

His service number on the Embarkation Roll is recorded as 405130.  This number is erroneously repeated a few times in his service file.


Oct 25, 1915

Disembarked in Plymouth, England


Nov 24, 1915

Admitted to the Aldershot Military Hospital.  There is no reason given in the file for this


Dec 8, 1915

Discharged to duty from hospital


Apr 1, 1916

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Apr 2, 1916

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


Apr 18, 1916

Left the CBD to join the battalion


Apr 20, 1916

Joined the 21st Battalion in the front line trench near Voormezeele, Belgium, south of Ypres


Sep 15, 1916

During the battalion’s advance on a German strong point in a sugar refinery near Courcelette, Private Macrae was first reported to be missing, then later confirmed to have been killed in action and was buried in the Ovillers Military Cemetery, Ovillers-La-Boiselle France

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross (shown below) were sent to his mother, Mrs. B. Macrae, 121 Brompton Rd., Hawkhill, Dundee, Scotland

The remainder of his medals and Plaque are missing.  If you know of their location, please contact the webmaster


The Eilean Donan Castle in the Scottish Highlands has a memorial to all those of the MacRae/Macrae/McRae clan who perished in the Great War, including those who served in Canadian units.  In addition to Terry Lane, I would like to thank Ross Toms for passing this along.

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