Stanley McDonald, SS Celtic

Let me tell you about a merchant seaman, Stanley Angus McDonald. His portrait was found in what appears to be an unrelated collection, but his story, like any other who served during the First World War is more than worthy of our attention.

Stanley served as Senior Engineer on the Steam Ship Celtic, which at the time of its launch in 1901 was the largest steamship in the World, it was a sister ship to the ill-fated SS Titanic. It had several mishaps during its lifetime, but the one that occurred in March 1918 was catastrophic for the McDonald family.

SS Celtic in the ship yards, Belfast


Interior of the first-class library, SS Celtic. Image: Ulster Folk & Transport Museum

His widowed mother Minnie McDonald resided in Indooroopilly, a suburb of Brisbane, and with her oldest son Henry and daughters Dorothy, Gladys and Marjorie, must have always wondered if his life at sea would end this way.

The other souls who died alongside Stanley McDonald were:

Brisbane CourierCeltic

SS Celtic on her last voyage, in 1928

Stanley McDonald not only left his mother and siblings in Australia but a wife and possibly family in England. Records show that he married in 1909 at Tynemouth, England. Other sources mention Catherine Elizabeth Postlethwaite as his widow, I wonder if he also left behind children.

Headstones at Belfast City Cemetery

Stanley Angus McDonaldRoyal British LegionAustralian War Memorial

It is hoped that by revealing Stanley McDonald's story, that family members who may be scattered around the globe will find solace in the fact that he is remembered, and now have access to an image of him to cherish.

Many thanks to Peter Hamilton, guest researcher & Q ANZAC 100 Volunteer

Further reading:

Marg Powell
QANZAC 100 Content Technician
State Library of Queensland


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