Donaldson, Andrew (Andy)
No. 18937, ‘A’ Company, 13th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Killed in action on Monday 13 August 1917 (aged 43)
New Irish Farm Cemetery, Belgium (Grave XIX. C. 12)
Portaferry Presbyterian Church
Ballyphilip Parish Church of Ireland Church Portaferry
Andrew Donaldson was born on 3 July 1874 (Church records) in Portaferry and he was a son of Samuel and Ellen Jane Donaldson (nee Davison) who were married on 12 January 1872 in Portaferry Presbyterian Church. Samuel Donaldson, a widower and a servant from Church Street, Portaferry was a son of William Donaldson, a shoemaker. Ellen Jane Davison from Thomastown was a daughter of Francis Davison, a labourer.
Samuel and Ellen Jane Donaldson (nee Davison) had at least two children:
Samuel (born around 1873; died of tuberculosis 23 September 1895)
Andrew (born 3 July 1874)
Both were baptised in Portaferry Presbyterian Church.
The Donaldson family lived in the townland of Thomastown, Portaferry.
Andrew’s father Samuel died sometime before 1901.
Andrew Donaldson worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Margaret Waterson (sometimes Watterson) were married on 12 July 1899 in Ballyphilip Parish Church of Ireland Church Portaferry. Margaret Watterson from Portaferry was a daughter of William Watterson, a fisherman.
Andrew and Margaret Donaldson (nee Watterson) had at least two children:
Ellen (born 2 April 1900 in Portaferry)
Elizabeth Anne (born 12 June 1902 in Thomastown, Portaferry)
Andrew Donaldson was widowed when his wife Margaret died of pulmonary tuberculosis on 24 February 1905 (aged 29) at Thomastown, Portaferry. She had been suffering from the disease for two years.
Andrew Donaldson and Ruth Ellen Johnston were married on 12 December 1905 in Ballyphilip Parish Church of Ireland Church Portaferry. Ruth Ellen Johnston from Portaferry was a daughter of Robert Johnston, a tailor.
Andrew and Ruth Ellen Donaldson (nee Johnston) had at least seven children including:
Andrew (born 13 September 1906 in Thomastown, Portaferry)
David (born 11 October 1908 in Thomastown, Portaferry)
Ruth (born 4 November 1910 in Thomastown, Portaferry)
Hugh (born 13 March 1913 in Thomastown, Portaferry)
John (born 15 September 1914 in Thomastown, Portaferry)
Charlotte (born 30 December 1915)
Both generations of the Donaldson family lived in the townland of Thomastown, Portaferry.
Andrew Donaldson enlisted in Ballywalter, he served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 108th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and he was killed on 13 August 1917 while the Battalion was holding the Front Line prior to the Battle of Langemarck.
Lance Corporal Andrew Donaldson was wounded whilst in the line and he walked to a dressing station for treatment. He was killed there when the dressing station was hit by a shell and he was buried in New Irish Farm Cemetery, Belgium.
Lance Corporal Andrew Donaldson is commemorated in Portaferry Presbyterian Church and in Ballyphilip Parish Church of Ireland Church Portaferry.
It is known that, on the day he was wounded, Andy was accompanied to the dressing station by Rifleman William McMullan from Portaferry who also served with ‘A’ Company 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles (No. 19117). Rifleman McMullan left the dressing station and returned to the Front Line just before the shell hit.
Rifleman William McMullan was wounded in action on 16 August 1917 at the Battle of Langemarck and he was discharged from the Army on 31 January 1919