Archibald Macdonald, Private 14761, 10th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Killed in action 21st May 1916 in France, aged 26
Archibald (Archie) Macdonald was born on 16th September 1889 in Runcorn, the son of Sarah and James Alexander Macdonald, a weighing machine fitter from Mold, Flintshire. In 1891, one year old Archie was living at 57 Beaumont St, Widnes, with his parents and brothers James (9), Harry (7) and Joseph (5). By 1901 the family had moved to Winsford and then to 12 Austin Street, Lostock Gralam, near Northwich, where Archie’s father was employed as a weighing machine fitter at the salt works. Twelve year old Archie then had four younger siblings: Mary (9), Jane (7), John Thomas (4) and eleven month old Hector.
Archie was educated first at a school in Winsford, and attended Lostock Gralam Church of England Junior School from 9th May 1899 onwards. He later spent some time at Macclesfield Industrial School, leaving the school in 1903 at the age of fourteen.
By 1911 Archie had returned to live with his family at 25 Boundary St, Lostock Gralam, and was employed as a labourer at the Brunner Mond works, Works Lane, Lostock Gralam.
Archie enlisted at Northwich on 1st September 1914, joining the Cheshire Regiment. His Army service records show that he had previously been rejected by the military as unfit for service on the grounds of his bad teeth. He was described as 5 feet 8½ inches tall and weighed 142 pounds, with a 34 inch chest, a fresh complexion, blue eyes and red hair. He had tattoos on his left forearm.
Archie began his training on 15th September 1914. The following year, on 6th June, he was reprimanded and forfeited 6 days pay for being absent from Church Parade, using obscene language to an NCO, and creating a disturbance after lights out.
On 26th September 1915 Archie was drafted to France. In November 1915 he was sent to the 77th Field Ambulance in France as he was “sick” (the actual illness was not stated), and shortly afterwards was treated for dental caries. In March 1916 he was severely punished for being drunk.
Archie was reported missing on 21st May 1916 and it was later concluded that he had lost his life on that day.
Private Archie MacDonald has no known grave and is commemorated on Panel Ref. 49 and 50. of the Loos Memorial in France. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission holds casualty details for Private Archie MacDonald.
Locally, Archie MacDonald is commemorated on the Macclesfield Industrial School war memorial. Elsewhere, he is commemorated on the Lostock Gralam war memorial, in the grounds of St John the Evangelist Church, and on the Lostock Gralam Brunner Mond works war memorial.