About Black Jack MacDonald
John MacDonald was born in 1882, in Balranald, New South Wales to Smith and Emma MacDonald. John attended Scotch College in Melbourne. After finishing his education he took on a position at the Haddon Rig and Gingie sheep stations in New South Wales.
John turned his attention to Broome and the pastoral industry in 1903, when he obtained a position as a shell opener for Norman. After gaining experience he purchased his own lugger and eventually added two more to his small fleet. John also took up a pastoral lease 80 miles south of Broome at La Grange in partnership with Gentleman James. Black Jack as he was known was a keen sportsman and was active in many of Broome’s sporting clubs, including the Turf Club.
John was posted to the 28th Battalion, A Company on enlistment at Blackboy Hill Camp. He left Fremantle aboard the Miltiades, which disembarked at Davenport in March 1917. John fell ill with bronchitis shortly after arrival, but proceeded overseas to France after a short hospital stay. John was killed in action in September 1917 in Belgium.
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