Friends of the Somme - Mid Ulster Branch  
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70290   Private James Robinson McDonald
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Dated added: 30/12/2015   Last updated: 30/08/2021
Personal Details
Regiment/Service: 37th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps (British Army)
Date Of Birth: 02/11/1895
Died: 28/03/1918 (Killed in Action)
Age: 22
Summary      
James Robinson McDonald was the oldest son of Thomas and Margaret Jane McDonald. He was born on 2nd November 1895 in Doolargy, Carnteel, Aughnacloy. He was the oldest of three children. His father died when he was very young. His mother was a Tea and Grocer Merchant. James McDonald enlisted in Liverpool. Private James McDonald was serving with the 37th Field Ambulance in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Albert when he was killed in action on 28th March 1918.
Further Information
James Robinson McDonald was the oldest son of Thomas and Margaret Jane McDonald Thomas McDonald and Margaret Robinson were married on 11th January 1895 in the district of Dungannon.
James was born on 2nd November 1895 in Doolargy, Carnteel, Aughnacloy. He was the oldest of three children.
James was born on 2nd November 1895 in Doolargy, Carnteel, Aughnacloy. He was the oldest of three children.
The 1901 census records James R as age 5 living with the family at house 8 in Loughans, Tullyvar, County Tyrone. His mother was a shopkeeper. Her daughter was less than a year old, so her husband must have died in the last couple of years.
The 1911 census lists James Robinson as age 15 living with the family in Doolargy, Tullyvar, Tyrone. James was still at school. His mother was a Tea and Grocer Merchant.
James McDonald enlisted in Liverpool.
Medal card
Private James McDonald was serving with the 37th Field Ambulance in the Royal Army Medical Corps.
The 37th Field Ambulance was attached to the 12th (Eastern) Division. In March 1918 they moved by motor lorry from Busnes to Albert.
Soon after midday on 26 March 1918 (at the First Battle of Arras 1918), Germans were seen advancing down the slopes into the Ancre valley. They were also seen in large numbers to the south of Albert moving on Meaulte and Dernancourt and by 7pm Albert itself was full of them. The 7/Suffolks had to withdraw through the ruined town to west of the railway line. On the northern side too, it seemed that the Division was in great danger of being outflanked, for enemy had got to Grandcourt and Beaumont Hamel. All units came under increasing pressure as the enemy pressed on. Many enemy attacks were repelled with heavy casualties, although the Division suffered 1634 casualties in halting their advance. The Division was finally relieved by 47th (London) Division on 29 March and moved to Warloy.
Private James McDonald was killed in action during this battle on 28th March 1918.
In his will, he left all to his mother.
Last Will and Testament of Private James Robinson McDonald dated 7th April 1917:
In the event of my death, I give the whole of my property and effects to my mother, Mrs M J McDonald, Doolargy, Carnteel Post Office, County Tyrone Ireland. 70290 James R McDonald, Private, R.A.M.C.
Private James McDonald has no known grave and is commemorated on panel 95 of the Pozieres Memorial in France.
Private James McDonald is commemorated locally on the WWI Roll of Honour in Aughnacloy Presbyterian Church.
The CWGC record Private James McDonald as the son of Mrs Margaret Jane McDonald,
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Relevant Dungannon Area Locations
No Location Region Location Notes Longtitude Latitude
1 Doolargy, Tullyvar Aughnacloy Census listing in Doolargy, Tullyvar 54.449732 -6.964316
2 Loughans, Ballygawley Ballygawley Census listing in Loughans, Ballygawley 54.452854 -6.983785
References and Links
No Link Reference Map Doc
1 1901 Census lists McDonald family Lists James R as age 5 living with the family at house 8 in Loughans, Tullyvar, Tyrone
2 1910 Ulster Towns Directory - Ballygawley Higgins & McDonald, tea merchants
3 1911 Census lists McDonald family Lists James Robinson as age 15 living with the family in Doolargy, Tullyvar, Tyrone
4 FindAGrave.com Photo of Private James McDonald's inscription
5 National Archives of Ireland Last Will and Testament of Private James McDonald
6 National Archives UK Medal Card can be purchased here
7 Royal Army Medical Corps Details of James McDonald
8 The Long, Long Trail Details of the 12th Division
Dungannon District's War Dead Acknowledgements 2015-2021