Ronald "Roland" James McDonald

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


May 19, 1889

Born in Coldwater, Ontario


Mar 15, 1915

Attested into the 21st Battalion in Lindsay, Ontario

Ø      Number 59708 (temporary number 1830)

Ø      Next of kin given as Mary Cook, mother, 73 Ontario St., Toronto, Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Carpenter

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Presbyterian

Ø      Assigned to the Depot Company


May 6, 1915

Embarked the RMS Metagama in Montreal, Quebec

Transferred to “C” Company


May 15, 1915

Disembarked in Devonport, England and the battalion proceeded to the West Sandling Camp, near Hythe, Kent


May 25, 1915

Sentenced to 10 days detention.  The offence that prompted this punishment is not recorded.


Jun 3, 1915

Released from detention


Jun 10, 1915

Sentenced to 5 days detention for Drunkenness


Jun 26, 1915

Sentenced to 10 days detention and forfeits 5 days pay for being AWL (Absent Without Leave)


Jul 6, 1915

Sentenced to 28 days detention and forfeits 3 days pay for being AWL and Drunkenness


Aug 15, 1915

Forfeits 8 days pay for being AWL from August 8 to August 15, 1915


Sep 9, 1915

Transferred from “C” Company to the Depot Company


Sep 14, 1915

The battalion embarked for France but Private McDonald was left behind in England


Sep 25, 1915

Transferred to the 39th Reserve Battalion


Oct 7, 1915

Fined $6.00 for being drunk


Oct 13, 1915

Sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment #2


Oct 26, 1915

Transferred to the 21st Battalion


Oct 27, 1915

Arrived at the CBD (Canadian Base Depot) in the Rouelles Camp, Havre, France as part of a draft of 655 reinforcements from England and TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Nov 3, 1915

Joined the 21st Battalion in billets in the town of La Clytte, France


Nov 20, 1915

Sentenced to 5 days Field Punishment #2 for Drunkenness


Dec 13, 1915

Sentenced to 7 days Field Punishment #1 and forfeits 2 days pay for being AWL for 2 days


Dec 18, 1915

Sentenced to an additional 5 days Field Punishment #2 for being drunk


Jan 20, 1916

Sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment #1 for stealing his comrades rum and for resisting police


Mar 4, 1916

Forfeits 1 days pay for being AWL from 9.00 AM February 24, 1916 till 10.00 PM February 24, 1916, sentenced to 14 hours extra fatigue duty and forfeits 2 days pay for being absent from the CO’s Parade and absent from the Marching Out Parade 4.00 PM February 25, 1916 until being handed over by Military Police at 9.00 AM February 26, 1916


Jun 3, 1916

Received a shrapnel wound to his left hand and admitted to the No. 2 CFA (Canadian Field Ambulance) for first aid then transferred to the Divisional Rest Station


Jun 5, 1916

Transferred to the No. 23 General Hospital in Etaples


Jun 10, 1916

Invalided to England aboard the Hospital Ship Stad Antwerpen

Posted to the CCAC (Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre) while in hospital


Jun 11, 1916

Admitted to the Park House VAD (Voluntary Aid Detachment) Hospital, Tunbridge Wells


Jul 7, 1916

Transferred to the Military Convalescent Hospital at Woodcote Park, Epsom


Jul 28, 1916

Discharged from hospital to base details


Sep 8, 1916

Admitted to the Shorncliffe Military Hospital diagnosed with VDG (Venereal Disease Gonorrhea).  This was later changed to read VDS (Venereal Disease Syphilis)


Sep 9, 1916

Transferred to the Canadian Convalescent Hospital, Etchinghill


Nov 17, 1916

Discharged from hospital


Nov 18, 1916

Reported to the CCAC at Shoreham


Jan 3, 1917

Transferred to the No. 3 CCD (Canadian Convalescent Centre) at St. Leonard’s Hospital for rehabilitation


Mar 10, 1917

Transferred to the EORD (Eastern Ontario Regimental Depot) for pay purposes but remained at the No. 3 CCD to continue his rehabilitation


Apr 9, 1917

Tried by District Court Martial for the charges of 

  1. Being AWL from December 16, 1916 to December 29, 1916
  2. Escaping custody on December 22, 1916
  3. Being AWL from January 15, 1917 until being apprehended January 21, 1917
  4. Theft of 4 kit bags, 2 Greatcoats and 2 pairs of boots while AWL

Private McDonald was found Guilty of the first 3 charges and Not Guilty on the 4th charge of theft.  He was sentenced to 6 months in detention.


Apr 10, 1917

Entered the Wandsworth Detention Barracks, London, to begin his sentence


Jun 22, 1917

Transferred to the 6th Reserve Battalion but shown in the Wandsworth Detention Barracks


Aug 21, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion

Private McDonald was released early in order to proceed to the front lines in France


Aug 22, 1917

Arrived at the No. 2 CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) in Etaples, France as part of a draft of 26 reinforcements from England and TOS the 21st Battalion


Sep 4, 1917

Left the CIBD to join his battalion


Sep 6, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion in billets in Villers au Bois carrying out training exercises.


Oct 2, 1917

Sentenced to 28 days Field Punishment #2 for being drunk while on Guard Duty


Nov 9, 1917

While on a work party rebuilding front line trenches on the Passchendaele front, he received severe shrapnel wounds to his back and legs and was removed to the field ambulance for first aid, then transferred to the No. 44 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) for treatment.

Private McDonald died of his wounds that same day at the No. 44 CCS and was buried in the Nine Elms British Cemetery, Poperinge, Belgium

Following the war the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal, Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny), Scroll and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs. Mary Ann Cook, 5 Cassels Ave., Toronto, Ontario


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