Pte
Matthew Donaldson

Informations sur naissance

Année de naissance:
1878
Lieu de naissance:
Wedderburn, Victoria, Australia

Informations générales

Profession:
Agriculteur

Informations service militaire

Pays:
Australia
Force armée:
Australian Imperial Force
Rang:
Private
Numéro de service:
5679
Incorporation date:
21/03/1916
Unités:
 —  Australian Infantry, 6th Bn.  (Dernière unité connue)

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
04/10/1917
Lieu de décès:
Celtic Wood, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Âge:
39

Cimetière

Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Parcelle: XXV
Rangée: B
Tombe: 18

Distinctions et médailles 2

British War Medal
Médaille
Victory Medal
Médaille

Complément d'informations

Private Matthew Donaldson served in the Australian Infantry 6th Battalion part of the 2nd Australian Brigade of the 1st Australian Division.
The 1st Australian Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde, a phase of the Third Battle of Ypres. The Division had to advance on the right of the village of Zonnebeke and had to capture and secure the Broodseinde Ridge and a part of the Passchendaele-Beselare Road. Its attack was carried by two Brigades. The 1st Australian Brigade and 2nd Australian Brigade. The 2nd Australian Brigade firstly attacked with the 8th Battalion. Once they had captured the first objective the 6th and 7th Battalions would move through to the second objective.
The 6th battalion moved into positon at about 02.00 a.m. While the Battalion was waiting till the sign to attack the German artillery laid down a very heavy barrage on the line. Many Australians were caught in the open and the Battalions in the line suffered heavy casualties. The German shelling did not indicate any pre-knowledge of an Australian attack, but was a precursor to a German attack that was due to commence coincidentally with the Australian attack. When the German infantry attacked they were caught in the allied barrage, which preceded the Australian assault. The barrage drove everything beyond it, inflicting very heavy casualties on the German defenders. The German soldiers had almost no place to hide. The ones that did survive the heavy shelling were quickly dispersed, killed or taken prisoner by the advancing troops. Even the Germans in the concrete strongpoints were utterly shocked. Most of them surrendered without putting up a fight.
The main resistance of the 6th Battalion’s advance came from a large crater, near Retaliation Farm, in which a pill-box was situated. This position supported by other nearby posts. Bombing parties of the 6th Battalion quickly outflanked the positions and eventually managed to silence or capture the defenders.
Meanwhile the 8th Battalion had advanced through the marsh and tree stumps of Romulus and Remus Woods, north of the hamlet of Molenaarelsthoek. They arrived at the first objective, the red line, around 07.15 a.m.
Around 08.00 a.m. the 7th and 6th Battalions moved through the 8th Battalion and carried on the advance. They quickly captured the summit of the ridge. While passing west of Celtic Wood, the 6th Battalion was now fired upon from distant machine gun positions on the Keiberg. At one stage the advance on Celtic Wood was halted by a German strongpoint. It was silenced by a Lewis gun team and by noon, the Australians had consolidated their positions astride the ridge.
No counter-attacks were launched and the Battalion kept on holding the line till they were relieved on the next day.
Private Mathew Donaldson was killed in action on the 4th of October 1917. He was initially buried at the hamlet of Nieuwe Kruiseeceke, east of Geluveld. His remains were exhumed after the war and interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.

Fichiers 1

Sources 6

"As Rough As Bags, the History of the 6th Battalion, 1st AIF, 1914-1919", Austin R.J., A Slouch Hat Publications,sd, page 206-227
Sources utilisées
AIF-project
https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=81080
Sources utilisées
Australian War Memorial
https://www.awm.gov.au/advanced-search/people?roll=First%20World%20War%20Embarkation%20Roll&people_preferred_name=Donaldson&people_service_number=5679
Sources utilisées
CWGC
https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/480195/donaldson,-/
Sources utilisées
Service Record
https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=3513215&isAv=N
Sources utilisées
The Long, Long Trail
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/
Sources utilisées