McDonald, Angus

BORN HULL 1893. SON OF ANGUS & HARRIET McDONALD, OF 6 WEST DOCK VILLA, WEST DOCK AVENUE, HULL. EMPLOYED AS A BOILER MAKER AND SHIP’S PLATER. HE MARRIED FLORENCE KATE HOLMES, IN HULL, ON 20/07/1913. THEY LIVED AT 8 HERBERT’S TERRACE, WESTBOURNE STREET, HULL (CWGC ADDRESS) WITH THEIR SON ANGUS (BORN 09/01/1914). THEIR TWO DAUGHTERS DIED IN INFANCY, AGNES DIED IN 1914 AND FLORENCE DIED IN 1915.

HE ENLISTED IN THE HULL PALS, ON 14/09/1914, AGED 21 YEARS AND 6 MONTHS. HIS ARMY RECORDS, DESCRIBE, HIM AS 5 FOOT, 9 INCHES TALL, 141 LBS WEIGHT, 37 INCH CHEST, BROWN EYES, LIGHT BROWN HAIR, NORMAL VISION, ‘GOOD’ PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT. PROMOTED CORPORAL, ON 14/06/1915. HE SERVED IN EGYPT AND FRANCE. WOUNDED BY A BULLET IN THE RIGHT HAND AT SERRE, ON 13/11/1916. INVALIDED TO ENGLAND. RETURNED TO FRANCE, ON 29/03/1917. PROMOTED AS SERGEANT, IN ‘C’ COMPANY, THE 12TH EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT. KILLED IN ACTION, AT OPPY WOOD, ON 03/05/1917, AGED 24. HIS ARMY EFFECTS WERE LEFT TO HIS WIDOW, FLORENCE, AND SON. HE LEFT BROTHER, CHARLES, JOHN AND FREDERICK, AND SISTERS, MARY, MABEL, ETHEL, AND CHARLOTTE McDONALD.
ANGUS IS BURIED IN A MILITARY CEMETERY, IN FRANCE. HIS GRAVE INSCRIPTION, READS, “REST IN PEACE”

Hull Pal Post – 25/02/2020. SERGEANT ANGUS McDONALD 12/211. Born in 1893, Angus was one of eight children to Angus and Harriet McDonald. He was 5ft 9in tall with brown eyes and light brown hair. A Ship’s Plater by trade he married Florence Kate Holmes at St Mary’s in Hull on 20th July 1913 and the couple moved to 8 Herbert’s Terrace, Westbourne Street, Hessle Road. Their first child, Angus, was born 9th January 1914. When war came Angus queued outside City Hall joining the fledgling 12th Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment, 3rd Hull Pals, originally as a Private, but he was promoted to Sergeant on 14th June the following year. Tragedy struck on 24th September 1915 when Angus and Florence’s second child, Florence, died at home of Lymphotic Enteritis. She was six months old. Still he marched away to war. Duty called. He was wounded in the right hand in November 1916 and briefly returned to England for treatment before arriving back in France just after Christmas and rejoining his unit. Angus McDonald was killed in action on 3rd May 1917 in front of Oppy Wood and his body identified and buried “near Bailleul, 4 miles NE of Arras” eventually named Albuera Cemetery. He was 24 years old.

The attack on Oppy Wood, part of the Battle of Arras, was a significant battle for the East Yorkshire Regiment and particularly for the city of Hull.  All four Hull Pals battalions were involved on 3 May and all suffered heavy casualties, with 40% of those present killed or injured. 2nd Lieutenant Jack Harrison, a local teacher and rugby player with Hull FC, won a posthumous Victoria Cross for his bravery in rushing a machine gun position to protect his platoon. His body was never found.
The village of Oppy in France had been in German hands since October 1914 and was part of a formidable defensive system including trenches, dug-outs and thick barbed wire defences. During the Battle of Arras, which began in April 1917, the British tried to take Oppy. The first attack was a failure. A second attack was partially successful. The third attack on 3 May, known officially as the Third Battle of the Scarpe, was again unsuccessful with significant loss of life. The troops were ordered to attack at 3.45am, rather than at dawn, and the defending Germans could easily see the line of British soldiers clearly lit by the full moon. The British continued to attack Oppy and were finally successful the following year. The City of Hull Memorial at Oppy was unveiled in 1927 and commemorates the men of the Hull Pals who were killed on 3 and 4 May 1917.

First name:
ANGUS
Military Number:
12/211
Rank:
Sergeant
Date Died
03/05/1917
Place died:
Albuera Cemetery, Bailleul-Sire-Berthoult, Pas de Calais, France
Age:
24
8 HERBERTS TERRACE, WESTBOURNE STREET, HULL, EAST YORKSHIRE, UK