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Capt. Frederick William (Wyld) Macdonald, MC

Captain Frederick William (Wyld) Macdonald, MC, VD  joined the 48th in 1912 at age 21 upon graduation from Royal Military College (RMC). He went overseas with the 15th Battalion (48th Highlanders) in 1914 and was captured at 2nd Ypres on 22 April 1915 during the first chlorine gas attack of the war. He was awarded the Military Cross. Upon repatriation to Toronto he rejoined the 48th Highlanders. When the Second World War broke out he volunteered again, attended Royal Military College, graduating in 1942 and then served in the Royal Canadian Artillery.

His father, Brigadier William Macdonald, was an original 48th officer being appointed Major upon joining in 1891 from the Queen’s Own Rifles. He became the Regiment’s third Commanding Officer serving in that role from 1900 to 1906. Macdonald subsequently commanded the 16th (Toronto) Infantry Brigade in 1908 and during the First World War the 1st Canadian Infantry Training Brigade at Exhibition Camp in Toronto. On Jan. 21 1917, while seeing off Canadian Army Service Corps soldiers Brig. Macdonald was killed at Union Station by a reversing train engine.

Frederick William “Wyld” Macdonald was born on August 19, 1890 in Toronto, Ontario. He signed his Attestation Paper as a Lieutenant with the 15th Infantry Battalion “48th Highlanders of Canada”, on September 20, 1914 at Camp Valcartier, at the age of 24, naming his next-of-kin as his father, Colonel William Campbell Macdonald, stating that he had three years’ service with the 48th Highlanders, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Bank Clerk. He was appointed Lieutenant, effective September 22, 1914, his religion Presbyterian. The Battalion was raised in Ontario and Quebec and mobilized at Camp Valcartier, Quebec under the authority of P.C.O. 2067, August 6, 1914. The Battalion sailed October 3, 1914 aboard the S.S. Megantic, with a compliment of 44 officers and 1,109 other ranks under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel J.A. Currie. Four months after arriving in England, he entered the French theatre with the 15th Infantry Battalion, arriving in France on February 9, 1915. Lieutenant Macdonald was reported missing on April 30, 1915 and was possibly missing as early as the 22nd, during the Second Battle of Ypres (either during the Battle of Gravenstafel Ridge or the Battle of St. Julien). He was officially listed as a Prisoner of War as of May 13, 1915. He was interred at Bischofswerda in Saxony as of May 17, 1915, the confirming information communicated by the Foreign Office on May 31st and supplied by senior officer Major Byng-Hall, D.S.O. of the 7th Infantry Battalion, through the American Embassy on May 22nd. He was later interred at three other locations in Germany: at Crefeld, North Rhine-Westphalia (now Krefeld), at Strohen Kreis Sulingen, Prussia and at Holzminden, Lower Saxony.

While a Prisoner of War, he was promoted to the rank of Captain, effective April 27, 1916. Captain Macdonald left Germany and arrived in Holland for internment on March 19, 1918. After the ceasing of hostilities, he was repatriated, arriving in Hull, England on December 20, 1918, where a reception was held at Camp Ripon. He was transferred to the CEF in Canada on January 9, 1919 and taken on strength at No. 2 District Depot in Toronto, Ontario. Frederick William “Wyld” Macdonald, 15th Infantry Battalion was struck off strength upon General Demobilization on March 20, 1919, at No. 2 District Depot in Toronto, credited with having served in Canada, England and France with the 15th Infantry Battalion and at District Depot No. 1. For his First World War service, he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. Captain Macdonald was awarded the Military Cross, “for gallant and distinguished serves in the Field, which have been brought to notice in accordance with the terms of Army Order 193 of 1919”, effective May 5, 1919, with no citation, the announcement appearing in the Fourth Supplement of the London Gazette 31759 of Tuesday, January 27, 1920, on Friday, January 30, 1920, page 1220 and in the Canada Gazette of Saturday, March 13, 1920, page 3030. Macdonald would later serve with the 48th Highlanders then the Royal Canadian Artillery during the Second World War. His middle name is referred to as “Wyld” instead of “William” in some of his records and military awards records on the Library and Archives Canada website. Also, his last name appears as “MacDonald” instead of “Macdonald” in the London Gazette and in some records.




Militia / Reserve Bn, 15th Bn (WW 1)
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Royal Military College
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