You are here
Angus Macdonald (1871-1934) of 1 Keose was a sailmaker and sailor in his youth. In c1887 he made the long trip to Australia and back on a sailing ship belonging to his (maternal?) uncle (Daniel Pope from Stornoway?)but after encountering a terrific storm off Cape Horn in 1891, he left the sea and later joined the regular Army in 1893, being posted to India in 1896. He was in India when the Boer War started and his regiment was one of the first to be sent to South Africa in 1899. He was besieged with General Sir George White in Ladysmith for three months and was mentioned by Sir George in Dispatches and by General Walter Kitchener in 1901. He was awarded the Queen Victoria medalwith 5 bars and the King Edward medal with 2 bars.
After the War he was in charge of the army stores in Exeter, England and this was where he met his future wife. He was stationed to Mooltan in India with the 69th Battery RFA. He had many escapades in India and the Government there granted him two years leave on full pay and free travelling allowances for services rendered. After leaving the Army in 1906 he returned to England before leaving for Canada where he studied for the Ministry of the Church and became minister in Earlswood, Saskatchewan in 1908. The Canadian climate affected his health and so he crossed to the Pacific coast and boarded a ship bound for Australia. When the family reached their destination, it was found that there were a few cases of an epidemic aboard ship and that all the landing passengers were to be quarantined.
They did not disembark but carried on with the ship to New Zealand where he met people of Scottish descent. He was soon settled into a congregation in English and Gaelic. When World War One broke out however, Angus volunteered as Chaplin to the New Zealand and Australian forces and served in France and Egypt. He was promoted to Assistant Chaplin General in 1917, with the rank of (Lieut?) Colonel. He organised hospital work and dealt with the wounded of the Gallipoli Campaign. As in South Africa, he was mention in Dispatches by General Sir Ian Hamilton in 1916 and was also decorated with the Order of the British Empire in 1918. His service was brought to the attention of the Secretary of State for War in March of that year.
Suffering from the effects of gas, he returned home and was instrumental in raising large amounts of money for the troops. He served as a minister in Pokene, Waipu, Avondale, New Lynn and Richmond. He retired from active ministry in 1931 due to ill health and became Presbyterian hospital minister for Auckland. He was the founder and chieftain of the Auckland Gaelic Club and a member of the Grand Lodge of Freemasons, of which for a period, he was grand chaplain.