New Zealand Law Society - Arthur Douglas MacDonald, 1880 - 1918

Arthur Douglas MacDonald, 1880 - 1918

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Arthur MacDonald was killed in action at Le Cateau, France on 1 October 1918. He was aged 38. He is buried at Ribecourt British Cemetery, Nord, France.

Arthur was born in Dunedin on 9 July 1881. He had one sister, who was older than him by three years. His parents were Christina and Daniel Douglas. His father was a well-known Dunedin solicitor. He attended Otago Boys' High School in Dunedin before being employed by his father as a law clerk and enrolling to study law at the University of Otago.

MacDonald moved north to Hastings and worked as a law clerk with the firm Logan, Williams and White. He moved to Stratford in 1911 and joined Spence and Stanford where he was a law clerk for some years before passing his final solicitor's examination at the end of 1913.

After his admission as a solicitor of the Supreme Court in Wellington by Justice Hosking on 19 February 1914, MacDonald returned to Hawke's Bay and set up practice on his own account in Hastings. He appeared many times in the Magistrates' Courts and was a popular member of the legal community.

After being called up MacDonald enlisted on 19 March 1917. His medical examination shows he was 5 foot 11-3/4 inches (1.82 metres) tall, weighed 178 pounds (80.7 kg) and had blue eyes and black hair.

After training he embarked from Wellington on 9 May 1918 with the 37th Reinforcements, New Zealand Field Artillery. He held the rank of Gunner. On arrival in Liverpool on 24 June his unit went to Ewshott in England for further training. It left for France on 11 September.

He was killed in action on 1 October 1918 while involved in fighting around Crevecour.

"His genial presence will be much missed by his brother practitioners here, as well as by the large circle of friends and acquaintances which he had in Hawke's Bay," the Hastings Standard said in a tribute on the news of MacDonald's death. 

MacDonald is remembered on the Hastings War Memorial.  

Sources: Otago Daily Times, 5 October 1900, page 1; Otago Daily Times, 11 May 1904, page 6; New Zealand Herald, 23 January 1905, page 7; Otago Daily Times, 24 May 1906, page 12; Otago Daily Times, 27 January 1911, page 5; Hastings Standard, 2 January 1914, page 5; Otago Daily Times, 21 February 1914, page 13; Hastings Standard, 22 June 1914, page 5; Hastings Standard, 9 June 1915, page 2; Hastings Standard, 23 August 1915, page 6; Hastings Standard, 6 September 1915, page 4; Hastings Standard, 21 July 1916, page 6; Press, 18 October 1918, page 8; Hastings Standard, 19 October 1918, page 4; Otago Daily Times, 30 October 1918, page 4; JR Byrne, New Zealand Artillery in the Field, 1914-18 (Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd, 1922), page 273.

Auckland War Memorial Museum Online Cenotaph soldier profile.

This obituary has been prepared by the New Zealand Law Society to perserve the memory of members of the legal profession who lost their lives while serving in World War I.

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By Geoff Adlam, New Zealand Law Society. Further information is welcomed:

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