William MacDonald began his golfing career as assistant at Royal Aberdeen.
In 1915 he became professional at Duff House Royal, the Banff club. The local Aberdeen paper, the Evening Express, reported, 'He is a fine player with a good style and, for a first attempt, made an excellent appearance at the professional tournaments at Balgownie and Cruden Bay this year. He is also a clever clubmaker and ought to develop into a useful instructor.He has already reduced the record for the Duff House course.'
Later that year enlisted in the 4th Bn, Gordon Highlanders with his brother.
On 25 September 1915 he was missing, as was his brother Fred. The CSM of C Company of the 4th Gordons wrote to their father saying he hoped they might turn up, as several others had done, but one had been in the pioneer squad most of whom had been killed.
It was ultimately decided that Private William McDonald had been killed in action on 24 March 1915. A later letter from the chaplain, Rev P D Thomson, to PC MacDonald, William's policeman father, stated he was seen to fall in front of the first German trench and the general impression was that he was dead. One of the sergeants, in passing, saw him, and reported he was dead.
I am indebted to Dr Phil Weaver, Curator of PGA Heritage for the information that Private MacDonald is recorded as being buried in Elzenwalle Brasserie Cemetery.
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