PC 296 B Hugh McDonald - Edinburgh City Police

PC 296 B Hugh McDonald, ex-regular of the 3rd, 4th & 6th Dragoon Guards. PC McDonald is wearing the 'Mons Star', the British War Medal and the Victory Medal ribbons.

PC 296 B Hugh McDonald


Hugh McDonald was born on 23 December, 1890 in Edinburgh. His father was William McDonald, a Tram Driver and his mother, Jeanie Black or McDonald.


The family were living at 19 Henderson Row, Edinburgh in the Census of 1891.


By 1901, they were living not far away at 13 Collins Place, Edinburgh.


In the Census of England, 1911, Hugh McDonald is recorded as a ‘Private’, (20), in the ‘3rd Dragoon Guards’ stationed at ‘1st Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Dragoon Guards, Wellington Lines, Aldershot in Hampshire’.


His occupation on enlistment on 27 October, 1910 was ‘Lithographer’.


His Edinburgh City Police personnel register records under ‘Medals & Decorations’, his entitlement to a ‘Mons Star with Rose’, ‘General Service Medal’ and ‘Victory Medal’. He was therefore an ‘Old Contemptible’, one of the first British regular troops into action in France during World War 1.


The 3rd (Prince of Wales) Dragoon Guards were serving in Egypt at the declaration of war in 1914 and were recalled to the UK. Arriving in October that year. Shortly afterwards they were posted to France landing at Le Havre on 1 November, 1914. On arrival, they joined the 6th Cavalry Brigade, 3rd Cavalry Division and served in this formation until the end of the war on the Western Front.


In 1919, he was discharged from the Royal Tank Corps, Number, 388431 (D/5280) at Canterbury in Kent. The record shows his date of marriage to Catherine Fraser Watt at Edinburgh on 4 November, 1915 and the birth of their son, William McDonald, born 13 March, 1917 at 82 Rose Street, Edinburgh. The father, ‘Trooper Hugh McDonald, 6th Dragoon Guards’, registered the birth.


Hugh McDonald’s Medal Index Card (MIC) and his Army Record of Discharge both show that he entered France on 16 August, 1914, possibly with the 6th or 4th Dragoon Guards as number D/5280.


The 3rd (Prince of Wales) Dragoon Guards returned to Britain in March, 1919 and were stationed at Tidworth in Wiltshire.


Hugh McDonald joined Edinburgh City Police on 15 July, 1919 as PC 296 B.


His previous occupation was also recorded as ‘Lithographer’.


He was a member of the Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band.


Between 1924 and 1931, he was commended for ‘vigilance and activity’, vigilance and energy’, ‘activity and vigilance’ and ‘alertness and resource’, all for the arrest of thieves, shop breakers and house breakers so he was clearly an active officer.


On 18 October, 1932, he transferred to A Division.


Whilst still a serving officer in Edinburgh City Police, Hugh McDonald, (48), married to Catherine Fraser Watt, died in Ward 18 of Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. His usual address was 150 Crewe Road East, Edinburgh. Catherine McDonald, his widow, registered his death.


I have more details on his Army service as well as his service in Edinburgh City Police and I am aware that some family members are tracing the family tree. Please get in touch and I will be happy to share those details.


PC 296 B Hugh McDonald was also a Piper in Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band.

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