About David Donaldson
David Donaldson was born in St Andrew’s, in Fife, Scotland. Very little is known about his early life, but he arrived in Australia as a mariner aged around 20.
David Donaldson first appears in Broome’s record in the Wise Post Office Directory in 1905. He began pearling operations around 1909, when he purchased the Lugger Amy, which he retained up until he enlisted for the war. The mayor of Broome, W. Clarke-Hall signed his Attestation Paper and he passed for enlistment by Broome medical officer Smythe -Yule.
David enlisted in April 1915. He was 42 when he enlisted, and one of the eldest men to be recruited from Broome. He was allocated to the 16th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement, and embarked aboard the HMAT Chika on the 18th June 1915. By August 1915 his battalion was in Gallipoli, where they served until the withdrawal of Allied Forces in December. The AIF underwent expansion and reorganisation in early 1916, and the 16th Battalion sailed for France and the Western Front in June. Six months later David became seriously ill with influenza and was sent back to England to recuperate, where he remained for the next five months He re-joined his battalion in Belgium where they were advancing on the Hindenburg Line. David Donaldson was injured in October 1917 and he later died from the wounds he received in action.