Lieutenant Samuel Frank Chesney MacDonald


Samuel Frank Chesney MacDonald was born on 5 December 1890 at Bridge Street, Ballymena, County Antrim, the last of seven children of grocer Thomas MacDonald and his wife Mary (nee Carson). His father died when he was very young, and the family moved to Belfast. In the 1911 census Samuel was recorded as living at a hotel on 8 Main Street, Portstewart, his occupation being a cost clerk. His normal residence, however, was with his mother at York Villa, Earlswood Road, Belfast.

MacDonald enlisted in the North Irish Horse on 25 or 26 January 1915 (No.1420 – later Corps of Hussars No.71383). He embarked for France with F Squadron on 17 November 1915. Soon after he sent this postcard home. It reads:

North Irish Horse Divisional Cavalry, 33rd Division, B.E.F. France

Just (?) to wish you all the merriest of Xmas', and a bright new year. Am in the best of form, but "awfu' coul".




In 1917 MacDonald applied for a commission in the infantry. After training at an officer cadet battalion in the UK, on 27 March 1918 he was appointed 2nd lieutenant and posted to the Royal Irish Regiment.

He was promoted to lieutenant on 27 September 1919, and relinquished his commission on 18 April 1920.

After the war, MacDonald worked in the Northern Ireland civil service. On 10 June 1948, while a staff officer of the Ministry for Home Affairs, he was made a Member of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire.


The signature at the bottom of the card is that of North Irish Horse Lieutenant Ronald Deane Ross, signifying he had read it as the censor.