An engineer at war
Title in English
James Boyd MacLachlan from Ireland
My father, James Boyd MacLachlan, qualified as an engineer from University College Galway, Ireland, and was a keen rugby player. He later went to Canada, where for about three years he was employed by Grant, Smith and MacDonnell as one of their engineers. According to his Canadian Expeditionary Force Certificate, he served in Canada, England and France, with the 15th Brigade Ammunition Column, 60th Battery Canadian Field Artillery, and 1st Battery, Canadian Garrison Artillery. He was awarded the Military Cross for "exceptionally fine work and devotion to duty while observing during the fighting at Passchendaele, carrying out observations for four consecutive nights and days under very heavy shell fire and the most trying conditions" and was also mentioned in Despatches. He was demobilised in 1919, and was later awarded an Honorary Degree of MSc by the National University of Ireland, in recognition of his war time record and Military Cross. He joined the British Colonial Service, and was an engineer in the Malay States, coming home in 1941 due to ill health. He lived the rest of his life in Ennis, Co Clare, until his death in Dublin in 1956. He spoke very little about his experience in the war.
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