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Archibald Cameron Macdonnell


Macdonell, Archibald Cameron, of Windsor, Essex Co., Ontario.Medals/Honours: Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB), Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of Saint Michael and Saint George (CMG), Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (D.S.O). Occupation: Cavalryman. Military Service, Brigadier General, Commanding Officer of 7th Infantry Brigade, 3rd Canadian Division. Attestation Papers. Diary References: note reference, “Something expected to happen around here shortly. We are in a “Flying Column” now in conjunction with 49th, 42nd and the R.C.Rs,” 2:19 Dec ’15; “Frank was describing the Seventh Infantry Brigade of the 3rd Canadian Division, which was officially organised on 22 December 1915 under Brig.-Gen. A. C. Macdonell,” note, 2:19 Dec ’15; “The Battalion now forms part of the 7th Canadian Brigade commanded by Brigadier General A. C. Macdonell D.S.O.,” 2:1 Jan ’16; “Corps. Com. [A. C. Macdonell] inspected us this morning. Very gruelling affair,” 3:30 July ’16; “According to the PPCLI War Diary, on July 30, ‘A Brigade parade was held … for the purpose of the presentation of medal ribbons by Brigadier General [A. C.] Macdonell,’” note for 3:30 [31] July ’16; “General McDonnel [Brig. Gen. A. C. Macdonell] came down and told us we would make a charge at six this evening,” 3:15 Sep ’16.

Additional Biographical Information:

See Wikipedia Archibald Cameron Macdonell.

“’Fighting Mac’ or ‘Batty Mac,” as he was known to the troops, was an inspired leader, whose fearlessness, flamboyant language, and charisma made him loved by his men. In between the swearing and cheering on of his men, he liked to speak Gaelic to his Highlanders, and was probably not too worried that most of them had no idea what he was saying. He stood ramrod straight and had military experience dating back to the South African War. At the start of the Great War, he had commanded Lord Strathcona’s Horse and had been twice wounded in as many years – once by a sniper’s bullet, after which he stunned his men by yelling a string of colourful expletives at the sniper and had to be forcefully restrained from trying to go over the top to pay that bloody Hun back for his insolence!” Tim Cook, Shock Troops: Canadians Fighting the Great War 1917-1918, Volume 2 (Toronto: Viking Canada, 2008), 261.