71915 Private Malcolm Charles McDonald – 43rdh Reinforcements

Malcolm Charles McDonald was born on 28th May 1892 in Ashurst[i], Manawatu, the son of Sarah and
John Charles McDonald. Malcolm was the eldest of the couple’s seven children. John and Sarah moved down to
Lower Hutt in the late 1890’[ii]s.

Malcolm was short and this assisted in his career as a jockey. Initially he worked at a Lower Hutt stables but by 1916/17 
was working at Mr J H Prosser’s stables, Porirua.  J H Prosser was a well know horse trainer who was based beside
Porirua Harbour with his horses being trained on Porirua beach.  Malcolm was racing for J H Prosser at the Opaki
Meeting, Masterton where the Masterton Age reported that he was one of five jockeys selected in the fifth military ballot[iii].

Jockeys and stable hands - J H Prosser's racing stables 1910's

On the 5th December 1917 Malcolm McDonald attended a medical examination in Wellington it noted that he was 5’ 2 inches tall ( 159 cm) and 110 pounds (50 kgs). Malcolm was passed A Fit but the examiner did note:

                Chest measurement small – but he is quite wiry and well proportioned.

71915 Private Malcolm McDonald entered military camp on the 7th December 1917 with the T Detail then transferred
to the F Detail before joining on 13th December 1917 E Company, 35th Reinforcements. Private McDonald was admitted
to camp hospital on a number of occasions and also went before medical boards. On 18th June 1918 he was assessed
with chest troubles and haemoptysis. Haemoptysis’s most common cause is bronchitis as is associated with coughing
up blood.[iv] Following this board Private McDonald was reclassified as B1, able to be made fit with medical treatment[v].

Private McDonald was again before a medical board on 13th August 1918 where while it noted that he still had chest
issues he was again assessed at A1.

The final assessment was made on 7th October 1918 the medical record notes Private McDonald’s poor physique and
that he  had lost 10 pounds,  weighing 102 pounds ( 46kgs) and he was rated as C 2, permanently unfit for active service
but fit for service within New Zealand. The successes on the Western Front may have influenced the decision with
Private McDonald being placed on Leave Without Pay from 26th October 1918.

Malcolm Charles McDonald returned to civilian life and his career as a jockey he married in 1919 to Dorothy May Baker
and the couple had three  daughters. Malcolm McDonald divorced and later remarried Ivey Ruth Abine (Ruth) Braddon
and the couple had one daughter.

Malcolm Charles McDonald died in Lower Hutt on 20th February 1976.

33416 Private Hector Sidney McDonald, 17th Company, 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment was killed in action on 4th October 1917. Hector was Malcolm’s younger brother.

Paperspast Online
Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files

Racing on Titahi Bay c1918: Pataka Museum
Jockeys and stable staff Prosser’s : Pataka Museum

[i] Archway Archives New Zealand Military Files: 71915 Private Malcolm McDonald
[ii] Tracingadam.7doves.com/mcdonald
[iii] Late Sporting by Bee, 14th March 1917, Wairarapa Age.
[iv] Wikipedia: Haemoptysis
[v] NZDF: WW1 military file abbreviations

Horse racing on Titahi Bay Beach c1918