Aubert Stanley McDonald
Lance Corporal/ Extra Regimental Sergeant
Serial No. 518
36th Battalion & 33rd Battalion
Aubert Stanley McDonald - Information
As the war was raging, widower Aubert McDonald was living on Victoria Rd in Glenfield. He had at least one son, Hector, and supported his family working as a civil servant. At the age of 37, Aubert enlisted in the AIF in Liverpool on the 21st of January 1916. He left for training, placing his son with his mother, Sophia, at Cromer in Ingleburn. Aubert was made a Private with the 36th Battalion, B Company at Liverpool Camp. Having said his goodbyes, he was sent overseas on the 13th of May, sailing from Sydney upon the HMAT Beltana.
Aubert disembarked in Devonport in July. In November, he was taken to France, meeting his unit in the lines, during a most bitter winter. In June 1917, the 36th Battalion were positioned for the Battle of Messines in Belgium. An example of a perfectly planned battle. The Anzacs quickly made gains under a creeping barrage, following the explosion of underground mines. During the heavy fighting, Aubert was promoted Lance Corporal on the 12th of June. Messines provided a springboard for the Third Battle of Ypres. The 36th Battalion played a significant part, initially achieving success. However, momentum began to falter when heavy rainfall turned the battleground into a quagmire. Hip deep in mud, the 36th struggled at Broodseinde and Passchendaele. After that terrible campaign, Aubert was detached to 9th Brigade Headquarters in Belgium at the end of December. On the 30th of April 1918, he was transferred to the 33rd Battalion. He then reported to the 10th Field Ambulance on the 1st of June sick. He was treated at the 1st General Hospital before being evacuated to England. At the London War Hospital, he was diagnosed with severe debility following a bout of influenza. He was still recovering in England when the war ended. At the end of November, he was assigned duty with Administration Headquarters in London, in the Audit Section. He was appointed Temporary 2nd Corporal and Temporary Sergeant on the 21st of January 1919. Four days later, he embarked England onboard the Ceramic. Aubert returned home to his family in Ingleburn.