Private, 1871, Alexander McDonald (25) – Died of Disease

6th Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders, 30th November 1918

Grave of Alexander McDonald at Elgin New Cemetery, Moray.

Synopsis of Life and Service

Alexander was born in 6 Moycroft, Elgin on 27 September 1897 to his parents James and Elizabeth, his father being a Train Driver.

The 1901 census shows that he had 2 brothers, William and Donald along with two sisters, Ruth and Agnes.

Prior to WWI, he was working as a Railway Fireman following in the footsteps of his father and married Annabella Taylor or McDonald and was residing together at 20 Moycroft, Elgin, having two sons by their union, James born on 10 October 1912 and Alexander born on 10 January 1914.

He enlisted into the local 6th Seaforth Highlanders on 8 September 1914 shortly after the declaration of the war and after training was sent to France on 1st May 1915.  It was while operating in the trenches, the Morayshire Roll of Honour states that he was buried for three days, resulting in a crushed body, although there is no indication of this in his Military Records.

He returned to the U.K. on the 28th February 1916 and his Military Records show that he attended at Queen Mary’s Military Hospital, Whalley, Lancashire, on 1st March 1916 after coughing up blood and following tests it was found that he had Tuberculosis. He was released from hospital on the 1st June 1916 and discharged from the army on 19th June the same year as medically unfit and unlikely to recover.

He was later examined for an Invalidity Pension, the report saying he was gravely ill and he died on 30 November 1918 believed to be as a result of the Tuberculosis.

His wife Annabella, died in August 1933 and is buried along with her husband at Elgin New Cemetery, Elgin, Morayshire.

Morayshire Roll of Honour

Extract from the above 1921 publication – MCDONALD, Alexander. No. 1871, Private, 1/6th Seaforths ; born at 6, Moycroft, Elgin, 27th September, 1893 ; joined at Elgin, 14th September, 1914 ; served in France ; buried for three days, resulting in crushed body, discharge following. Son of James and Elizabeth McDonald, 6 Moycroft, Elgin. Occupation – Railway Fireman.

Seaforth Highlanders Cap Badge, similar to the one which would have been worn by Alexander McDonald.


Alexander McDonald was buried at Elgin New Cemetery, Morayshire in the same burial lair as his wife and a child. For around 100 years the grave remained unmarked, until the ‘In from The Cold Project’, which was formed to research and identify all service men and women missing from the official Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) list of casualties from the First and Second World Wars and the CWGC placed a headstone on his grave and relations came forward for the rededication.


The military records show that Alexander and Annabelle resided at 20 Moycroft, Elgin, Morayshire.


Alexander John Fowlie was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the Victory , British War Medal and Silver War Medal for his service in the Great War.

Additional Information

Alexander was 5”10″ tall and with a chest measurement of 37″ with a 2″ expansion.


Alexander McDonald is honoured and remembered on the Elgin City and Parish War Memorial, Morayshire.

Links to Additional Information


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission
  • 1901 Census
  • Morayshire Roll of Honour
  • Medal Index Card – Silver War Badge
  • Medal Index Card
  • Medal Roll – Seaforth Highlanders – 1914-15 Medal
  • Medal Roll – Seaforth Highlanders – British War and Victory Medals
  • British Army Service Records
  • British Army Pension Records


Contributors :-

  • Vincent Stuart
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