Allan Daniel McDonald was born September 8, 1887 at Harbor Au Bouche, (Havre Boucher), Antigonish, Nova Scotia. His father was Rod A. McDonald of Pictou County, Nova Scotia. In 1915, Allan was working as a conductor for the Canadian Pacific Railroad. The 1911 census notes that he was working as a railway brakeman and lived at the King Edward Hotel. There is some confusion over whether Allan is a MacDonald or a McDonald. The recruiting officer wrote MacDonald for both Allan and his father, and that is how his name is listed in the Attestation form title. Allan’s signature itself appears to be McDonald. He was referred to as either McDonald or MacDonald in the local newspaper. This may have been because it appears that the local paper had access to the attestation forms the recruits filled out.
A copy of a letter to Allan McDonald from William McInerney (who also perished in the war) was printed in the local newspaper April 3, 1915:
“Arrived safe and sound in Liverpool… The first Canadians are there now (at the front in Ypres) and got pretty badly chewed up. Remember me to Dan (perhaps Daniel William McDonald?) and the folks and all the rest of the boys in Revelstoke and write soon and tell me all the news. Yours, Wm. McInerney.”
Allan McDonald was a member of the 102nd RMR Militia prior to the war. He signed his enlistment papers on September 8, 1915 at Vancouver. His regimental number was 129837. He was 5’9” and had blue eyes and fair hair. He had joined the 72nd Seaforth Highlanders. He was 28 years old. His religious affiliation was Roman Catholic. The September 29, 1915 edition of the local newspaper noted that he was one of a number of recruits who marched off to the train depot where a large crowd had gathered to say their farewell. The December 29, 1915 edition notes that Allan MacDonald was one of a number of 72nd Battalion soldiers who had returned to the city for Christmas. He was in Revelstoke again in April of 1916. He left Halifax on the Empress on Britain on April 23, 1916, arriving in Liverpool on May 7. After serving in the battlefields for more than a year, at the rank of private, he contracted trench fever. He was hospitalized in a Canadian Convalescent Hospital in Berkshire, England, between July and October 1917, after which he was discharged and sent to Canada.
Allan Daniel McDonald (or MacDonald) died November 10, 1918 here in Revelstoke, as a returned soldier. He was a returned soldier, sent back because of “Trench Fever.” He was 31 years old. He died of pneumonia, as is listed among the local casualties of the Spanish Flu epidemic. His weakened condition because of his trench fever was most likely a contributing factor in his death. His name is not listed on the Canadian War Memorial Site, but he is memorialized on the Courthouse and Cenotaph plaques, as McDonald, Allan D.
The funeral for Allan McDonald (or MacDonald) was held on November 11, 1918, the day the war ended, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, officiated by Rev. Father McKenzie. The celebratory armistice parade was delayed until after the funeral cortege had taken his body down Mackenzie Avenue to the CPR station for transport to his family at Lourdes, Nova Scotia.