McDonald, Mark William

McDonald, Mark William (Mark)

Second Lieutenant

4th Battalion, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers

Drowned on Monday 2 August 1915 (aged 19)


Glenarm New Cemetery, Co. Antrim (Grave A. 24)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission


Mark William McDonald was born on 30 July 1896 in West Derby, Lancashire and he was a son of Mark William and Mary Ethel McDonald (nee McGrane) who were married around 1893.

The McDonald family lived in Ferry Street, Portaferry.

Mark McDonald Senior (who was born in County Antrim) was a medical practitioner and he and Mary (who was born in County Wicklow) had three children:

John Alexander (born around 1895 in West Derby, Lancashire; died of nephritis in Ferry Street, Portaferry 13 August 1910 aged 15)

Mark William (born 30 July 1896 in West Derby, Lancashire)

Elizabeth Mary (born 23 August 1898 in Camden Street, Belfast)

Mark McDonald was educated at Campbell College Belfast and there he was a member of the Officers’ Training Corps (OTC).  He was also a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force.  He entered Trinity College Dublin in the autumn of 1914 and joined Trinity OTC.  He obtained a commission in the 4th Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers some two months before he was drowned on 2 August 1915 in Tullagh Bay, Co Donegal.  That afternoon two young officers, Wycomb and McDonald, went for a swim in the sea.  Mark McDonald was seized with cramp and before his comrade could reach him he was swept away by an outgoing current.

Lieutenant Wycomb raised the alarm and military personnel, constabulary officers and civilians hurried to the scene.  A rowing boat was launched and six Tullagh fishermen along with Sergeant Golden from the Royal Irish Constabulary in Clonmany, Inishowen scoured the bay with drag-nets.  As darkness deepened the operation was called off and then resumed at 5.00 am the following day.  Half an hour later the body of Second Lieutenant Mark McDonald was recovered and taken to the nearby military camp.  Mark McDonald’s parents had lost their second son.  An intercessory service was held in Ardkeen Parish Church of Ireland Church where Mark had been a regular communicant.