No. 8005, 18th Division Artillery, Royal Field Artillery
Died as the result of an accident on Thursday 29 April 1915 (aged 49)
Ipswich Old Cemetery, Suffolk, England (Grave S. 4. 2)
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
In some records his surname is spelt McDonnell.
In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Farrier Sergeant Robert McDonald (No. 8005) was born in Scotland.
Robert McDonald was born around 1864/1865 and he was a son of Hamilton and Mary Ann McDonald (nee Dunlop) who were married on 13 June 1865 in Newtownards Registrar’s Office. Hamilton McDonald (aged 25) from Magherascouse was a son of William McDonald, a farmer. Mary Ann Dunlop (aged 24) from Magherascouse was a daughter of James Dunlop, a farmer.
The McDonald family lived in the townlands of Magherascouse, Ballyrainey and Ballystockart, Comber.
Hamilton McDonald worked as a farm labourer and he and Mary Ann had eight children including:
Robert (born around 1864/1865 in Scotland)
Alexander (born 28 August 1866 in Magherascouse)
Elizabeth (born 25 June 1868 in Magherascouse)
Hugh (born 31 May 1881 in Ballyrainey)
Mary Ann (born 26 April 1884 in Ballyrainey)
Hamilton McDonald died on 21 September 1912 (aged 71).
Robert McDonald worked as a carter and blacksmith before joining the Army. He was in the Royal Artillery when he and Jane Patterson (nee Longridge) were married on 6 January 1902 in St Anne’s Church of Ireland Church Belfast. Jane Patterson already had eight children from her previous marriage to John Patterson:
John (born 20 November 1886 in Lisdalgan)
Robert (born 25 December 1887 in Lisdalgan)
Margaret (Maggie, born 14 December 1889 in Lisdalgan)
Samuel (born 15 May 1892 at 66 Thorndyke Street, Belfast)
Sarah (born 8 December 1894 at 64 Thorndyke Street, Belfast)
Rebecca (born 6 February 1897 at 64 Thorndyke Street, Belfast)
Mary (born 6 April 1898 at 64 Thorndyke Street, Belfast)
Susannah (Susan, born 9 July 1900 at 64 Thorndyke Street, Belfast)
John Patterson and Jane Longridge (aged 16) were married on 3 February 1885 in Second Saintfield Presbyterian Church. John Patterson was a widower and he worked as a hand-loom weaver. They lived in the townland of Lisdalgan, Saintfield and then in Thorndyke Street, Belfast. John Patterson died of pneumonia on 11 June 1900 (aged 48).
Robert and Jane McDonald (formerly Patterson, nee Longridge) had five children:
Jane (Jennie, born 4 February 1903 at 47 Thorndyke Street, Belfast)
Elizabeth (born 12 March 1905 at 82 Thorndyke Street, Belfast; died of diarrhoea 29 August 1906)
Maud (born 2 May 1907 at 82 Thorndyke Street, Belfast)
Nanette (born 12 August 1909 at 47 Thorndyke Street, Belfast)
Samuel (born 26 October 1911 at 47 Thorndyke Street, Belfast)
After the outbreak of the Great War Robert McDonald re-enlisted and served as a Farrier Sergeant with the Royal Field Artillery. On 29 April 1915 he was about to shoe a mule when the animal kicked him in the stomach and ruptured his small intestine. Farrier Sergeant Robert McDonald died a few hours later and was buried in Ipswich Old Cemetery, Suffolk.
Farrier Sergeant Robert McDonald is commemorated in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 417).