- Place of Use Continent - North America, Country - Canada
- Category Communication artifacts
- Sub-category Personal symbol
- Department Arms and Technology
- Museum CWM
- Earliest 1919/12/01
- Latest 1919/12/31
- Inscription LIEUT W. J. DONALD; STERLING
- Support loose
- Materials Sterling silver
- Rank Lieutenant
- Service Component Canadian Expeditionary Force
- Unit 24th Canadian Infantry Battalion
- Person / Institution Subject, Donald, Lieutenant William James
- Measurements Length 36.7 cm, Width 3.1 cm, Thickness 0.2 cm
- Caption William James DONALD
- Additional Information Born in Scotland in 1894, Donald enlisted in January 1915 and arrived in England in May. He embarked for France in September and was taken on strength in the 5th Machine Gun Company in December 1916. He was commissioned a lieutenant on 6 June 1918 and sent to the 47th Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF), on 1 September 1918. Four weeks later, he was killed in action.
- Caption Medals Project- Donald, William James
William James Donald was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, on 26 June 1894. He was the third of George and Mary Donald’s six children.
A clerk, Donald enlisted in the 24th Battalion (Victoria Rifles) in Montréal, Quebec, on 6 January 1915. After completing initial training in Canada, he travelled to England with his unit on SS Cameronia, arriving there on 20 May 1915. He received further training in Folkestone, Kent, and then embarked for France on 15 September 1915, arriving in Boulogne a day later.
Donald was transferred to the 5th Canadian Infantry Brigade Machine Gun Company on 24 December 1915 and joined the unit on Christmas Day. On 26 May 1916, he was wounded in the left arm by shrapnel. He received medical treatment and returned to his unit five days later.
In late October 1916, Donald was attached to the Canadian Corps Headquarters. This attachment became a formal transfer on 9 May 1917, when he became a clerk in the staff administrative branch. He was promoted to the rank of corporal the same day. A month later, he was promoted to acting sergeant, without additional pay.
Donald relinquished the rank of acting sergeant on 31 January 1918, when he was transferred to Shorncliffe, Kent, for training with a view to being granted a commission. He successfully gained his commission on 5 June 1918.
On 23 August 1918, Donald was transferred to the 47th Battalion. He joined the unit in France on 1 September 1918. Less than a month later, on 28 September 1918, he was killed in action by enemy machine gun fire during the Battle of the Canal du Nord.
William James Donald is buried in Quarry Wood Cemetery, Sains-lès-Marquion, France.