Richard McDONALD #5182

Indigenous Australian, Richard McDONALD, 1st Infantry Battalion

A keen sportsman, he had played rugby and cricket, a member of the Kiama Reserve Rifle Club as well as a member of the 37th Infantry Band.  Richard McDonald took part in the South Coast Waratahs recruiting march which was held in November 1915 and was suitably farewelled at the Kiama Town Hall, with almost 50 other recruits.

Two weeks later Richard McDonald was seriously wounded in the abdomen 24 July 1916 at Pozieres. He was treated by 1/2 South Midlands Field Ambulance but died of his injuries.

Private Richard McDonald is buried at the Warloy-Baillon Military Cemetery, north east of Amiens, France.

Richard McDonald did not name any next-of-kin on his enlistment papers, but he did name Miss A. May Morrow, of Dapto, Illawarra as his sole beneficiary in the event of his death. His small parcel of effects was forwarded to her in 1917.

She also returned the Roll of Honour questionnaire sent by the newly formed Memorial War Museum, stating that he was ‘absolutely without a living relative’. There was however a lovely notice commemorating his death, placed in the Sydney Morning Herald in August 1916 by his friends.

It is not clear whether his war medals and commemorative plaque and scroll were also provided to Miss Morrow, however in 1926 she wrote this time from St Leonards, NSW requesting photographs of his grave.

A simple message was inscribed on Private McDonald’s headstone - ‘My Friend’ which we can assume was added by Miss Morrow.

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Marg Powell & Des Crump

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