Ian Petrie Macdonald


Royal Army Medical Corps – attached to P27210  
Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyhire Regiment)   11th Battalion
Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps    
28th Punjabis Regiment, Indian Army    
Ian Macdonald officer in WW1

Ian was born at Crich in 1892, the son of village doctor George Macdonald. There were two doctors in partnership at this time – Doctors Macdonald and Rankin.

Rosskeen house, Crich

Doctors Macdonald and Rankin outside 'Roskeen', Surgery Lane, Crich

Ian was one the first to enlist in October 1914. He went to Ceylon in 1915 and served with the Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps before joining the 28th Punjabis Regiment as A.D.C. to the Commanding Officer. In December 1915, he joined the 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters as Medical Officer. During June 1916 he was wounded near Bouzincourt.

Derbyshire Courier 5 June 1915
Mr Ian MacDonald, son of Dr and Mrs G G Macdonald, of Crich, who a few months ago went to Ceylon to take up a Civil Service appointment, is now a lieutenant in the 28 Punjabis, Indian Army. Lieutenant Macdonald, before joining this regiment, was attached to the Ceylon Planters’ Rifle Corps

Derbyshire Courier 6 November 1915
Lieutenant Macdonald’s Success

Photo of Ian P MacdonaldNot only to those intimately associated with Dr G G Macdonald C C, and Mrs MacDonald and family, of Crich, but to the whole of our readers in the Crich district the following news, taken from the “Ceylon Times,” will be of exceptional interest: we are authorised to state that Lieutenant Ian P McDonald, India Army Reserve of Officers, has been appointed A.D.C.to Brigadier General F.Hackett Thompson, C.B., general officer commanding troops. Lieut McDonald came out to Ceylon a few months ago as a cadet for the seal on Civil Service, and secured his commission recently being attached to the 28th Punjabis for duty. He will be congratulated on his new appointment.
This congratulation will be re-echoed generally amongst the people in the Crich district, who naturally are proud that a son of Crich has gained this distinction. Lieut McDonald it will be remembered, during the early days of the war discharge the duties of sectional commander with marked ability. Virtually all the recruits then under his control are now in the trenches in France and Belgium.

St Mary's Church Marriage Register
7 November 1916: Ian Pendlebury Macdonald 24, Second Lieutenant Indian Army (father George Godfrey Macdonald, Doctor of Medicine) married Edith Maud Cooper 20, daughter of William Hill Cooper (deceased) gentleman. Dr Rankin was a witness.

Note some records show him as Ian Petrie Macdonald others Ian Pendlebury Macdonald.

Sherwood Foresters Roll (with thanks to Cliff Housley)
Lieut. RAMC joined 11th Battalion Sherwood Foresters as medical officer on 07/12/15.
He was wounded 30/06/16 near Bouzincourt

From Spymaster by Martin Pearce (Transworld Publishers) published August 2016

'The headmaster at Lady Manners School in Maurice’s early days was a remarkable character and a major influence on changing the way his pupils approached their lives [...] So when Ian Pendlebury Macdonald swept into town in 1924 to take up the post of headmaster in his new silver Alvis two-seater sports car, with a colourful past in his wake, the impression he made on the wide-eyed children of the Bakewell area was both immediate and long-lasting […] He may have had the benefit of Ian Macdonald’s teaching for only four years, but its impact on the teenage Maurice Oldfield was to endure. Maurice’s sister Sadie, who joined her brother at Lady Manners School in Macdonald’s final year, remembered that Maurice would often come home relating tales of wartime derring-do that had been shared by the headmaster. ‘Mr Macdonald really inspired Maurice to read,’ Sadie recalled. ‘Before that he was mainly interested in Derbyshire books and Bible stories, but he became fascinated by travel writing, history and atlases once he got to Lady Manners.’'

Crich recruits in 1914

Ian P. Macdonald; William Burr; William Curzon; John Walker; Nelson Martin;
Jack Kneebone; William Frost; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Cauldwell;
Jack Porter; George Perry; Noble Tomlinson


Crich recruits 1914

Included with these recruits are: Ian Macdonald; Billy Curzon; Jack Porter; Walter (Wammy) Mellors; Jack Kneebone; Billy Burr; Noble Tomlinson; Tom Coleman; Billy Frost; Luke Coleman; Jack Cauldwell; George Perry. It is believed that John Roe, brothers Herbert and Steven Bollington (and possibly John) are also amongst this group.

On the Imperial War Museums website is a fascinating oral history by Ian Pendlebury Macdonald.

Listen to the ORAL HISTORY on this site.

To listen on the Imperial War Museums site click the link.


1901: Green Lane Independant School, Belper

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
Ian P Macdonald boarder 9 Pupil Crich

RG13 piece 3228 folio 75 page 1

1911: Crich

Forename Surname Relationship Age Occupation Where born
George Godfrey Macdonald Head 49 Doctor of Medicine Hanover Square
Ian P Macdonald son 19 Student Crich
Flora Macdonald daughter 11   Crich
Sheila Macdonald daughter 10   Crich
Henry Joseph Rankin boarder 48 Batchelor of Medicine Donegal

RG14PN19776 RG78PN1183 RD418 SD3 ED13 SN106