Donald Hector McLean

First Name: 
Donald
Middle Name: 
Hector
Last Name: 
McLean
Father's Name: 
Donald McLean
Date Enlisted: 
Saturday, September 19, 1914
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Rank at Discharge: 
Sergeant
Unit: 
46th Battalion / Australian Army Service Corps
Service: 
Infantry
Awards: 
Military Medal
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Details: 

Donald McLean was born in Ontario, Canada around 1880.  Before coming to Australia, Donald had served 3 years with the North West Canadian Mounted Police.

At enlistment Donald was divorced, 34 years old, worked as a teamster and lived in Helensburgh, N.S.W.  He nominated his ex-wife, Florence Christiansen McLean as his next of kin. He embarked from Melbourne on board HMAT A26 Armadale with 10th Australian Army Service Corps on 20th October 1914 (Service No 2328).

Donald arrived in Egypt in December 1914.  He was admitted to hospital in February 1915 for treatment to an injured leg from a horse fall.  While the injury was thought to be severe, and the Army planned to return Donal to Australia, he recovered enough to be sent to Gallipoli.  Unfortunately, on 12th May 1915, he was again wounded and sent to hospital in Egypt for treatment of shrapnel wounds to his hand.  Issues with his leg injury returned, and Donald was returned to Australia in May 1916 and discharged, medically unfit, on 1st August 1916. 

Following an operation, Donald was able to re-enlist on 14th September 1916 (Service No 13821).  At this enlistment, Donald nominated his niece, Edith Russell, of Scarborough, N.S.W. as his next of kin.  He embarked on board HMAT A7 Medic on 16th December 1916, and arrived in England on 18th February 1917.

On 7th September 1917, Donald married Daisy Goddard in Southampton.  Only days later, on 19th September, he arrived in France to join the fighting.  On 27th January 1918 Donald joined 46th Battalion and saw service on the Western Front, and was awarded the Military Medal. 

The recommendation for his Military Medal reads: 'For special gallantry and skill as lewis gunner during the operations West of BELLENGLISE on 18/19th September, 1918. He was in charge of the lewis gun section and led his section most ably forward, always pushing his gun forward to cover the advance. His masterly handling of the gun greatly assisted in the capture of the trench. At one period he was surrounded by the enemy and was in danger of being captured, but by unexampled coolness and courage and brilliant handling of the lewis gun, he forced the enemy to surrender. His work during consolidation was also very valuable.' Dated 25th September 1918.

Donald was promoted to Sergeant on 1st May 1919.

He returned to Australia with Daisy in June 1919 and was discharged from the AIF on 29th September 1919.  Correspondence from Illinois, U.S.A., dated 1934 is held in Donald's papers, indicating he may have moved to America after the war.

A D. McLean is commemorated at the Thirroul-Woodward Memorial Park.

Sources: 
NAA: B2455, MCLEAN D H

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