McDonald, Alexander John (Private, b.1895 - d.?)

Accession Number AWM2016.120.1
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 1 wallet: 1 cm
Object type Diary, Letter, Postcard
Maker McDonald, Alexander John
Place made At sea, France
Date made 1916-1919
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Collection relating to the First World War service of 2861 Private Alexander John McDonald, 41st Australian Infantry Battalion, France, 1916-1918. Collection consists of an original handwritten diary covering the period 21 December 1916 to approximately May 1918 plus a number of letters and postcards written by McDonald. The diary covers the sea voyage from Australia, including mention of a funeral at sea, and brief entries by McDonald made while on active service in France. It covers life in the trenches and details his being wounded and invalided to England, and also includes many pages of names and addresses. The diary has been annotated by McDonald at page 71 to add extra detail on these personal contacts.

There are two letters by McDonald to his mother, one incomplete, and another incomplete letter to an unknown recipient. The letters mention playing cricket, German prisoners and their willingness to work, and enquires after the wellbeing of friends. Six of the eight postcards are from a series entitled Anzacs in France, which feature images of Australians with their souvenirs after Pozieres, the King visiting the troops, and Australians at work. The back of the postcards feature handwritten interpretations of their images, written by McDonald.

McDonald survived the war and returned to Australia in 1919.