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Canadian Virtual War Memorial

Donald Ryerson MacDonald

In memory of:

Lieutenant Donald Ryerson MacDonald

August 16, 1917

Military Service






Canadian Infantry (Central Ontario Regiment)


18th Bn.


British War Medal and Victory Medal

Additional Information


February 9, 1895
Toronto, Ontario


April 1, 1916
Halifax, Nova Scotia

Son of Francis Edward Macdonald, of Toronto, Ontario. Reverted to ranks twice in effort to reach France. Gazetted Lieut. (18th Bn.) in the Field.

Commemorated on Page 280 of the First World War Book of Remembrance. Request a copy of this page. Download high resolution copy of this page.

Burial Information

Grave Reference:

I. K. 12.


Aix-Noulette is a village in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, about 13 kilometres south of Bethune on the main road to Arras. From Arras take the D937 towards Bethune. At Aix-Noulette, turn right at the church. The AIX-NOULETTE COMMUNAL CEMETERY and EXTENSION are a few hundred metres on the left side of the road to Bully-Grenay.

Information courtesy of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

Digital Collection

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  • Photo of Donald Ryerson MacDonald– Lt. Donald Ryerson Macdonald, 18th Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment
Killed in action August 16, 1917, at 19 years of age. 

Born in Toronto, Macdonald was one of Appleby's original students, having followed founding Headmaster John Guest from Upper Canada College. He played on the First Rugby (Football), Hockey and Cricket teams, won the Victor Ludorum Trophy in 1915, and earned admission to the University of Toronto. He was commissioned a Lieutenant in the Thirty-fourth Regiment, Canadian Militia, but reverted to the ranks twice in an effort to reach France. On arrival in England he was promised a commission in the Surrey Regiment; he took his course, but could not be gazetted because he was under age. He went to France as a private soldier in the Trench Mortar Battery of the Fourth Brigade, and after nine months in the trenches, was promoted Lieutenant in the field. He was killed by a bomb while reconnoitering ground in front of a newly-won position in the outskirts of Lens.  From the Appleby College archives.
  • Newspaper Clipping
  • Circumstances of Death Registers– Circumstances of Death Register
  • War Diary– 18th Battalion War Diary entry relating to action where Lt. MacDonald was killed.
  • Photo of Donald Ryerson Macdonald– From The War Book of Upper Canada College, edited by Archibald Hope Young, Toronto, 1923.  This book is a Roll of Honour including former students who served during the First World War.
  • Memorial Tablet– Lieutenant Donald Ryerson Macdonald Name  is remembered on this brass Memorial Tablet. It was unveiled on May 1, 1921 in memory of Upper Canada College students who died on active service during  the First World War.  Upper Canada College is located in Toronto, Ontario.
  • Appleby College Honour Roll– Donald Macdonald was a student at Appleby College and is commemorated in the school Honour Roll.  He was killed near Lens while "on a reconnaissance mission in no man's land.  A bomb exploded in front of him.  Before his men reached him, Macdonald was dead" (from The Appleby Story).

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