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metadata.territoryanzacs.dc.title: Alexander McKinnon
Name: McKinnon, Alexander. Jr
Rank: Private
Service Number: 2230
Place of Birth: Charlotte Waters (N.T.)
Cultural heritage: Indigenous Australian
Next of Kin: Mary McKinnon - Stepmother.
Biographical notes: The above photograph is believed to be Alexander in the right hand corner, with his paternal grandfather, also Alexander. (supplied by Marcelle Edwards). Alexander was the only indigenous serviceman from the Territory to die in combat in the Great War. After hearing of the death of her stepson, Private Alexander McKinnon, Mary McKinnon wrote a letter on 21st July 1921 to Officer in Charge of Base Records in Melbourne, requesting assistance from the government for the eight children which were left in her care and that both his parents were dead. Alexander had eight other siblings: Charlotte Jean, Frederick Duncan McKinnon (who served in World War II, SX3390), Margaret Kersley McKinnon, Mary Veronica McKinnon, Alexander William McKinnon, Linda Elizabeth McKinnon, Kathleen Marion McKinnon and Madeline May McKinnon, the children of Alexander and Mary McKinnon. In Alexander’s will, he left his estate to his natural mother "Alice Cobb", an aboriginal woman of Mount Dare via Charlotte Waters, Northern Territory. On 21 May 1922, in memo 3791 from the Defence Department stated "I have advised that Gratuity of the late soldier has been awarded to the aboriginal "Alice Cobb" but has to be paid to the Protector of Aborigines in this State". Mrs A McKinnon was sent and received Alexander’s campaign medals and personal effects, the receipt slip was signed by Mary McKinnon. His death notice appeared, along with those of Matthew Garr and Lloyd Herbert in "Roll of Honour" Northern Territory Times, 1 November 1917: p.7.
Occupation: Station Hand
Date of Enlistment: 3-May-1916
Age at Enlistment: 26 years 11 months
Place of Enlistment: Charlotte Waters (N.T.)
Unit: 43rd Battalion
Service: Australian Imperial Force
Date of Death: 1917-10-04
Place of Death: Ypres (Belgium)
Memorials: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Belgium)
Service History: McKinnon embarked from Adelaide, on 12th August 1916 aboard HMAT A70 'Ballarat' as part of the 13th Training Battalion. He disembarked Devonport, England 30th September 1916 and was taken on strength into the 43rd Battalion 25 October 1916. The unit then proceeded to France 25th November 1916 presumably after further training. McKinnon had several bouts of illness and spent some time in hospital in January 1917 and later rejoined his battalion in early February 1917. McKinnon was absent without leave several times in France. McKinnon was killed in action 4 October 1917 as the battalion were marching from their last bivouac on 3rd October at Hellfire Corner at 2am, by 6am they had reached the "jumping offline" advanced and captured their first objective line of 700 yards which they consolidated, the battle of Broodseinde. They over-nighted at Bostin Farm before moving forward to Asylum, Ypres on 5th October.
Related link: Darwin Returned Servicemens' League (RSL) : a concise history of its conception and development by Clive Francis (Frank) Geddes. Darwin : Clive Francis Geddes, 2011: p.53.
Mackinnon family : Scotland to Australia 1840 compiled by Marcelle Edwards. Adelaide, S.A. : M. Edwards, 2010.
Service Record
Unit War Diary
The forty-third : the story and official history of the 43rd Battalion by E.J. Colliver and B.H. Richardson. A.I.F. Adelaide : Rigby, 1920.
"Roll of Honour", Northern Territory Times and Gazette, 1 November 1917: p.7.
McKinnon Family History web site
Nominal Roll
Embarkation Roll
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander volunteers for the AIF: the Indigenous response to World War One by Philippa Scarlett. 2nd ed. Macquarie, ACT : Indigenous Histories, 2012: p.127.
Roll of Honour
Commonwealth War Graves - Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial - Alexander McKinnon
metadata.territoryanzacs.dc.subject.*: ANZAC
World War, 1914-1918 -- Northern Territory
Australia. Army. Australian and New Zealand Army Corps -- History
Appears in Collections:Fallen ANZACs

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