Hugh Rennie McDonald.  Courtesy E Hay.

Hugh Rennie McDonald. Courtesy E Hay.

Hugh Rennie McDonald was born in Adelaide on 9 July 1889.  He was a gardener.  Hugh was a member of the Lobethal Rifle Club for two years. Parents : James Mitchell McDonald and Rose Knott. Enlisted :  SERN 1781.  25 August 1915 at Adelaide 32nd Battalion 48th Battalion Action : Sailed from Adelaide on the Borda, for fighting in France.  Spent some time in Portsmouth in hospital with serious Spinal Meningitis before joining fighting.  Wounded in action 8 March, 1917 and 11 August 1917.   Rank Lance Corporal.  Victory Medal.  See AIF projectAustralian War Memorial and National Archives for further information. Died : Killed in action France, 6 July 1918. BuriedVilliers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, France, plot 13, row F, grave 2.


  1. William George (born Adelaide SA, 5 April 1881, died Adelaide SA, 1962)
  2. James Frederick (born Summertown SA, 5 September 1882, died Port Adelaide SA, 19 December 1955)
  3. Ellen Elizabeth (born Summertown SA, 5 November 1883, died Summertown SA, 6 June 1934)
  4. Ada May (born Uraidla SA, 19 April 1885, died SA, 8 January 1960, married name Adamson)
  5. Hugh Rennie (born SA, 9 July 1889, died France, 3 July 1918)
  6. Percy (born SA, 1893, died SA, 24 May 1894)
  7. Alice Jessie (born Parkside SA, 29 May 1895, died New Zealand, 4 July 1970, married name Kendall)
  8. Olive Susannah (born Parkside SA, 29 May 1897, died SA, 17 October 1960, married name Hammond)
  9. Henry Mitchell (born Parkside SA, 3 September 1898, died Birkenhead SA, 9 February 1978)
  10. Janet (born Malvern SA, 11 April 1900, died SA, 1921)
  11. Dorothy Isabel Rose (born SA, 14 October 1902, died SA, 14 October 1902)
  12. Horace Hector (born Unley SA, 21 August 1905, died SA, 4 March 1982)


6 thoughts on “McDonald, Hugh Rennie

  1. I visited Hugh’s grave in April 2014. His great niece is to marry my son. He was a brave boy who almost lasted out the war despite serious illness and two incidents of being wounded.

      • Hello Peter!
        Wonderful to have contact with one of Hughs nephews . My son is marrying Narelle Mundy and I’m going to be little help to you but if you’d like to send your email address to me at ditorovm@hotmail.com I can pass it to Narelle to contact you. We feel honoured that our family will be linked to yours and to Hugh. I had 3 uncles on the Somme – dads brothers – I’m a late child & dad was much younger than them. They all survived to come home. But I’m deeply interested in the whole war & will be going to 1/7/1916 commemorations next year on the Somme. You’ll be interested to know Narelle is beautiful on the inside as well as the outside and has Hughs distinctive jawline. Her dad and mum have just retired from a life with the Salvation Army. I’d love to see some pictures of you and other relatives of Hughs. Verinica

      • Peter I’d love to receive any info you find on Hugh. I’ve read his digital war record and the Unit dairy of the 48th Battalion and I can’t be sure but it might have been a sniper that killed Hugh as there was not actual fighting on that day where they were but the diary mentioned someone was shot. One of your other relatives may know . I use a travel co from the UK called Bartletts Battlefied Journeys – they are best in the business and do the research required to show you exactly where relatives were etc David Bartlett has done some walking of the field where Hugh died and was first buried (not far from where he’s been reburied at Villers Bretoneux .) I’ll be walking Hughs footsteps in 2017 when I go back for the 100 year commemorations at Bullecourt where one of my uncles fighting alongside of Albert Jacka in the 14th Battalion , was wounded & taken POW on 11/4/1917. Interestingly Hughs 48th fought the same battle but Hugh was out of action due to previous wounds or illness, I can’t quite remember which. Otherwise they would’ve fought together and now their descendants Narelle and my Matt will be married ! Yes so in 2017 I will make Hughs experiences in the war physical and personal. Did you also know that the Aust War Memorial in Canberra has a display throughout this year and next where each soldiers name killed will be projected onto the Memorials facade? Each soldier features around 8 times & Hugh will come up again on the 29th of this month. A very sad and poignant thing. You can go onto the site & see the other dates for Hugh. I hope to get up there for one of the nights next year.

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