M, b. 7 December 1873, d. 31 January 1917
Malcolmson Gardiner Donahoo
was born on 7 December 1873 in Kennington, London, England
He was the son of Thomas Malcolmson Donahoo
and Anna Eliza Mary Gardiner
. He was baptised on 31 December 1873 in St Mary's, Lambeth, London, England
, his father was a surgeon and the family lived in 129 Blackfriars in London.3,4
Malcolmson was educated at Charterhouse School 1888 to 1891. His school house was Weekites and he matriculated for Clare College, Cambridge in 1892 where he received a BA 1895. He was admitted as a solicitor in February 1901. The Record of Service of Solicitors and Articled Clerks shows that he was admitted February 1901, practised at 28, St Swithin's Lane London EC.5,6,7
He was the son of Anna Eliza Mary Donahoo
in the 1901 census in Savoy Mansions, Strand, London, England
. Malcolmson was a solictor.8
Malcolmson was a member of the Westminster and Keystone No 10 Freemason Lodge.9
He married Annie Burlison
, daughter of John Burlison
and Elizabeth Sarah Grylls
, in 1904 in Hendon, London, England
, Annie was sometimes called Nancy. I suspect they met as Annie's brother John attended also Clare College in Cambridge like Malcolmson.10
He received the probate of the estate of Elizabeth Sarah Whitaker
on 28 May 1909.11
He was listed as head of household in the 1911 census in Hobbs Farm, Oxted, Surrey, England
. Malcolmson was a solicitor living with his wife. Annie's two sisters were visiting in their 10 roomed home. Three servants completed the household. I have been unable to trace where their daughter Anna was living at the time.12
He enlisted on 8 October 1914 as a Private, in the Sportsman's Battalion, 1/24 Royal Fusiliers.9
He was posted to Hornchurch in Essex for training where he applied for commission from Hut 3 at the Town’s Barracks on 31 January 1915.3
He was commissioned as a Temporary 2nd
Lieutenant in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry on the 21 February 1915 and was posted to the 8th Battalion of his regiment at Borden Camp in Hertfordshire . He embarked for France with his battalion at Southampton on the 27 August 1915 and landed at Le Havre later the same day. He was promoted to Lieutenant on the 2 July 1916 and to Acting Captain while commanding a company on the 1 August 1916, a rank he relinquished on the 25 January 1917 on being wounded.5,3
He was awarded the Military Cross on 11 November 1916 for conspicuous gallantry in action. He led his company with great courage and determination, capturing and holding the position for thirty hours. He set a splendid example to his men.5,13
On 23 January 1917 the 8th Battalion King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry carried out a raid on German trenches at Sanctuary Wood in the Ypres Salient. At 9pm, after a short barrage from supporting artillery a part of three officers and one hundred men raced across no man's land and entered the enemy trenches which they found to be unoccupied. During the fifteen minutes they were there before pulling back they came under a heavy bombardment from the German artillery. Casualties for the raid were three officers wounded with one man killed, forty nine wounded and seven men missing. Captain Donahoo, who had not been involved in the original raid, volunteered to go into No Man's Land to search for the missing men. Almost immediately he was spotted by an alert German sniper and shot and seriously wounded. He was rescued from no man's land and was evacuated to 10 Casualty Clearing Station where he succumbed to his wounds. Captain Donahoo was an extremely loved and popular officer whose passing was commented upon in the 23rd Division's History.6
Nancy received a telegram dated the 25 January 1917: "Regret to inform you O.C. 10 Casualty Clearing Station in the field reports January twenty fifth Capt. M.G. Donahoo MC Yorkshire Light Infantry dangerously wounded gunshot wound tight leg compound fracture femur. Further news wired immediately received." She received a further telegram dated the 1 February 1917: - "Deeply regret to inform you Capt. M.G. Donahoo MC Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry died of wounds January thirty first. The Army Council express their sympathy."3
He died on 31 January 1917 in Belgium
at age 43.5
A memorial service was held in his memory at the Chapel Royal, Savoy on the 23 April 1917.3
Malcomson's death appeared in the 17th list of war dead in the Carthusian of April 1917. The entry in The Carthusian of July 1917 on page 112 reads: The Late Capt. Malcolmson Gardiner Donahoo (M.C.), King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry.
There will be many Cambridge men of the early nineties who will cherish an affectionate rememberance of Malcolmson Donahoo.
He came up to Clare College from Charterhouse in 1892. He had no record of athletic distinctions behind him to serve as an introduction to a college in which athletic prominence counted very high; but by sheer strength and simplicity of character, by his genius for loyal freindship, he won an unsought popularity not only in the college but throughout the whole University.
And there was no trace of priggishness in him; he had the true Irish love of fun and sense of humour, and an immense and most infectious chee4rfulness which made him the most sought after guest at the social gatherings of the time.
When the war came he was over the fighting age, ideally happy in his married life and living the country life he had always looked forward to. It would have been easy for him to obtain a commission, but with characteristic modesty and thoroughness he preferred to learn his work in the ranks, and he joined the Sportsman's Battalion in October 1914, and served as a private for five months. He obtained a commission in the King's Own Yorkshire light Infantry in March 1915, and the same qualities which had endeared him to his friends found their full paly in him as an officer and leader of men. For he understood men, and they loved him for his unerring sense of fairness, his quick sympathy and understanding, and his unfailing cheerfulness.
From a letter written by his Brigade Comander: "His memory will live long in the Battalion as a very fine example of wehat an Officer should be. Duty was always firstwith him, and he shared all the dangers and hardships with his men. He especially distinguished himself on October 1st, 1916, near Le Sars when his Company attacked the German position: an no award of the Military Cross was more deserved, and none gave me more pleasure to hear of, than that won by Cptain Donahoo.
He is a great loss to his Regiment and also to the Brigade. I always felt the greatest confidence in him, and he isnspited that feeling in his men. They loved him because they trusted him and knew what a gallant gentleman he was."14
He is also commemorated on a plaque in St George's Church in Crowhurst in Surrey.3
He is commemorated on the Charterhouse School Memorial Chapel Roll of Honour and his career as a solicitor and in the army is mentioned many times in the London Gazette.9
He was buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Boescheepseweg, 8970, Poperinge, Belgium
, in plot X - A - 2.5
There is a plaque to commemorate his achievements in St John the Baptist, Wonersh, Surrey, England