Above: Malcolm and Christina MacDonald with their children. Murdoch is the young man in the back row. Courtesy of Helen Teakle and Mary Schoorman
Private Murdoch MacDonald
Pakenham & District War Memorial
Born: 2 September 1878 - St Arnaud, Victoria Enlisted: 5 February 1918 aged 39
Unit: 8th Australian Flying Corps (SERN: 3345) Served: United Kingdom
Died: 3 October 1957 - Dandenong, Victoria
Murdoch (sometimes spelt “Murdock”) was an older brother of Jack McDonald. He farmed with another brother Samuel at Nambrok, near Rosedale in Gippsland (1). Murdoch was 39 years old when he enlisted in early 1918. By this stage, Murdoch’s parents had settled in Pakenham, while his brother Donald lived in Officer (2). Murdoch was assigned as an Air Mechanic Second Class to the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) at Laverton, just west of Melbourne. He arrived in England in July 1918 and underwent further training, but was hospitalised for influenza in late September He never made it to the Front, as the War ended on 11 November 1918. Murdoch suffered another bout of flu in early 1919, prior to returning back to Australia. He was discharged from the AFC on 1 July 1919 (2).
Murdoch initially returned to Nambrok. In 1924, he married Isabel May Ratcliff. Murdoch and Isabel had a family, but later divorced (2). In the 1940s, Murdoch was living in Canterbury, where he was a labourer (4). He died at Dandenong in 1957, aged 79.
The assistance of Mary Schoorman and Helen Teakle is gratefully acknowledged.
(1) Ancestry.com.au - Electoral Roll - Gippsland - Rosedale 1914 p. 9
(2) NAA B2455 MCDONALD M
(3) Argus 24/11/1928 p. 13
(4) Ancestry.com.au - Electoral Roll - Kooyong - Canterbury 1943 p. 99