MacDONALD, Peter Petersen
(Service number 7/1383)
|First Rank||Trooper||Last Rank||Trooper|
|Date||23 May 1894||Place of Birth||Barberton, South Africa|
|Date||14 June 1915||Age||21 years|
|Address at Enlistment||Roxburgh|
|Previous Military Experience||8th South Canterbury Mounted Rifles; transferred to 12th Mounted Rifles|
|Next of Kin||P. P. MacDONALD, sen. (father), Rhodes Street, Waimate; Egerton, Beverley Street, Timaru|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||6th Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Date||14 August 1915|
|Embarked From||Wellington||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Mounted Rifles|
|Campaigns||Balkan; Egyptian; Egyptian Expeditionary Force|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||18 September 1919||Reason||No longer fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on Active Service.|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||12 August 1972||Age||78 years|
|Place of Death||Christchurch|
|Notices||Press, 14 & 15 August 1972|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Harewood Crematorium, Christchurch|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Peter Peterson Macdonald was born on 23 May 1894 at Barberton, South Africa, the older son of Peter Peterson and Mary Elizabeth (née Osborn) Macdonald. Peter, senior, (born in Scotland) and Mary (born in England) married at Johannesburg in 1893. Two sons and two daughters were born in South Africa. In July 1909, Peter, his sister Emily and his brother Graham entered Kaikorai School, Dunedin, having come from Bournemouth, England. All left Kaikorai for South Canterbury in December 1909, Peter after gaining his Proficiency Certificate. Mr P. P. Macdonald, of Dunedin, had acquired 370 acres freehold, orchard and grazing land, at Hunter in the Waimate district, in November 1909. Graham Macdonald received a General Excellence award at Hunter School in 1910. Jessie Macdonald, the second daughter, probably attended Waimate School in 1914-1915 and Strathmore School, Timaru, in 1917. Jessie married in 1925 at Chalmers Church, Timaru. The eldest daughter, Emily Macdonald, probably returned to Dunedin for further education at Braemar House School. In 1929 she left her parents’ Timaru residence to take up a scholarship in post-graduate kindergarten work in the USA. Emily married at Timaru’s Chalmers Church in 1932. Another daughter, Mary Joyce Macdonald, was born to Peter and Mary in 1910 at Timaru. Known as Joyce, she transferred from a private school to Waimataitai School in 1919 and went on to the Girls’ High School in 1923.
According to the Timaru Herlad "P. P. McDonald" [sic] was one of the men who, having volunteered and been accepted for service in the New Zealand forces, and were given a very hearty send-off on 11 June 1915 before they left Timaru for Trentham. After assembling at the Drill Shed, they were entertained to afternoon tea. Following the roll call, they marched to the station, headed by the Band of the 8th South Canterbury Mounted Rifles. The Mayor congratulated the men and expressed gratitude for the sacrifices they were making. “He hoped they would be truthful, honest, fair and square to one another wherever they went, . . . .” When Peter Petersen Macdonald enlisted on 14 June 1915 at Trentham, he gave his occupation as being a fruit farmer at Roxburgh, Central Otago, single and Presbyterian. He named his father as next-of-kin – P. P. Macdonald, sen., Rhodes Street, Waimate, South Canterbury, and later at Egerton, Beverley Street, Timaru. Peter had previously served with the 8th South Canterbury Mounted Rifles before transferring to the 12th Mounted Rifles. Trooper P. P. Macdonald embarked with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles of the 6th Reinforcements, leaving Wellington for Suez, Egypt per the “Tofua” on 14 August 1915.
At the end of his service Peter embarked on 6 March 1919 for home per the “Kaikoura”. This Draft No. 230 of 1114 men from Egypt and Palestine was due about 17 April. He had possibly been serving with the Mounted division across Jordan Valley when the Armistice was signed. Peter was among those who reached Timaru by special train from Christchurch shortly after 3 p.m. (an hour late) on 20 April 1919. The Battalion Band played when the soldiers arrived. The Mayor welcomed them. “All were thankful to see them back and proud of the way they had upheld the honour of the country and made the name of the New Zealand Division famous throughout the world.” They were wished all the good luck they deserved, in the future. The welcome concluded with further cheers for the returned men and the playing of the National Anthem by the Band. He was discharged on 18 September 1919, being no longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on active service. His intended address was 23 Elizabeth Street, Timaru, and as of June 1923 he was at 72 Arthur Street, Timaru. Trooper P. P. Macdonald gave over four years of service, serving in the Balkans and Egypt. He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
Peter Petersen Macdonald married Ella Murray Wilson (née Reese), a widow, in 1955 at Christchurch. Ella had married another serviceman in 1924, but had been a widow since 1925. After a long life Peter died on 12 August 1972 at Christchurch, aged 78 years, his funeral service being held at the Memorial Garden Crematorium Chapel, Harewood. He was survived by Ella, who died in 1976, and his three sisters.
Peter’s younger brother, Graham Osborn MacDonald, who also served in World War One with the New Zealand Forces, died in 1934. Their youngest sister, Mary Joyce Macdonald (afterwards Mrs Guthrie) served as a nurse in World War Two. Peter Peterson Macdonald, senior, died in 1950 at a daughter’s residence at Palmerston South, while Elizabeth Mary Macdonald died in 1952 at Port Chalmers. Both are buried at Timaru. In November 1915, Kaikorai School was seeking confirmation of old pupils who had served or were serving at the front, in order to establish a permanent record in the school. Among the names published was that of Peter Macdonald.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [05 December 2022]; School Admission records (Dunedin & South Canterbury branches NZSG) [05 December 2022]; Timaru Herald, 20 November 1909, 14 June 1915, 2 & 21 April 1919, Otago Witness, 19 January 1910, Waimate Daily Advertiser, 28 December 1910, Otago Daily Times, 12 November 1915, Sun, 31 March 1919, Press, 1 April 1919, 14 & 15 August 1972 (Papers Past) [16 December 2014; 17 January 2015; 31 October 2022; 02, 05 & 06 December 2022]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC Genealogy Society
Currently Assigned to
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