Lance-Corporal, 265707, Malcolm McDonald (24) – Killed in Action

6th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders, 23rd September 1917 

Grave of Malcolm McDonald at Tyne Cot Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. – ©International Wargrave Photography Project.

Morayshire Roll of Honour

Extract from the above 1921 publication :- MCDONALD, Malcolm, No.265707, Lance-Corporal, 1st/6th Gordon Highlanders; born at Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, 14th March 1897, educated at Knockando; joined at Keith, September 1914; served in France; killed in action, 23rd September, 1917. Son of John and Isabella McDonald, Relugas, Dunphail. Occupation – Farm Servant.

Diary of the 6th Gordons – 23 September 1917

The Diary of the 6th Gordon Highlanders for the 23rd September 1917 reads:-

No.14 Platoon’s Headquarters – a small ‘Pill Box’ – received a direct hit and 2nd Lieutenant G.S. Duncan and his two signallers were killed. “D’ Company had 16 other casualties.  With the other companies the casualties were slight. Very heavy barrage put up by us and a fairly heavy one by the enemy at 6.15p.m. Which lasted until 8 o’clock.

(It is unclear if Malcolm was one of the signallers killed in the Pill Box but it is certainly a possibility.)

Diary of the 6th Gordon Highlanders for 23rd September 1917 – © National Archive.

Further Military and Civilian Research

  • Malcolm McDonald went to France/ Flanders on the 4th February 1915.
  • He was initially given the service number of No.11038, and was later given the number 265707 when he was promoted to Lance/Corporal, all in the 6th Gordon Highlanders.
  • He is buried at the Tyne Cot Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
  • In the Register of Soldiers Effects, compensation payments for his death was given to his father John and his sister Alice.


Malcolm McDonald was born at Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, on 14th March 1897. The following family information is taken from the 1901 Census and ‘Lives of the First World War website. At the time of the 1901 Census, the family were residing at 28 Conval Street, Dufftown.

His family is shown as follows :-

  • Father – John McDonald, born c.1858 at Cromdale, Elginshire – Joiner.
  • Mother – Gabella Glass or McDonald, born c.1864 at Mortlach, Dufftown.
  • Sister – Annie Jane, born 10 April 1884 at Glenrinnes, Banffshire – Nurse (Domestic).
  • Brother- Charles George, born 25 September 1885 at Glenrinnes, Banffshire.
  • Brother – James Alexander, born 18 March 1887 at Glenrinnes, Banffshire.
  • Sister – Isabella McDonald or Shand, born 25 October 1890 at Glenrinnes, Banffshire.
  • Brother – George Lobban, born 30 March 1891 at Grange, Banffshire.
  • Brother – William, born 27 September 1892 at Fyvie, Aberdeenshire.
  • Sister – Catherine Margaret Sim McDonald or Webster, born 19 November 1895 at Grange, Banffshire.
  • Sister – Alice, born 11 December 1898 at Mortlach, Banffshire.
  • Sister – Helen, born 6 December 1900 at Mortlach, Banffshire.

His brother James Alexander McDonald was killed in action on the 29th July 1916, while fighting in the Australian Imperial Force and his brother William McDonald was killed in action fighting for the 9th Battalion, Gordon Highlanders.

Medal Index Card for Malcolm McDonald.


  • The 1901 Census gives the family address as 28 Conval Street, Dufftown, Banffshire.
  • On his brother James’s initial application, the fathers address is given as Ballentomb Cottage, Dulnain Bridge, Grantown-on-Spey.
  • Later in the war the fathers address is given as Rowan Cottage, Dulnain Bridge, Grantown-on-Spey.
  • The address given to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission for the family after his death was 50 Balvenie Street, Dufftown, Banffshire.
  • In the Morayshire Roll of Honour from 1921 the address the address of his parents is shown as Relugas, Dunphail Estate, near Forres, Morayshire.


Malcolm McDonald was awarded the 1914-15 Star, Victory and the British War Medals for his service in the Great War.


Malcolm McDonald is honoured and remembered along with his two brothers on the Glenrinnes and Kirkhill War Memorial, he is also remembered along with his brother William on the Mortlach and Parishioners War Memorial, Dufftown, Moray.

Glenrinnes and Kirkhill War Memorial where William McDonald is honoured and remembered.

Links to Additional Information

Conflicting Information

There is some conflicting information in relation to the place of birth of Malcolm. Most documents have his place of birth as Fyvie, Aberdeenshire but there is a document which has his place of birth as Grange, Aberdeenshire.


  •  Morayshire Roll of Honour.
  •  Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
  • Medal Index Card.
  • Medal Roll – Gordon Highlanders – Victory and British War Medal.
  • Soldiers Died in the Great War.
  • Register of Soldiers Effects.
  • The National Archive – 6th Gordon Highlanders War Diary.
  • Find a Grave – Malcolm McDonald.



  • Vincent Stuart
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