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Macdonald, Claudius Augustus (Claude) (1859–1949)

Few Australian pastoralists could have led a more colourful and adventurous life than Mr. Claude A.K. MacDonald, who died in London a few days ago at the age of 90 years.

FORMERLY of Wantabadgery, near Wagga, Mr. Macdonald was one of Australia's best known station-owners.

Swimming in Lake Geneva when a schoolboy on holidays from Harrow, climbing Alpine peaks, being held up by the bushranger, 'Moonlite', and his gang at Wantabadgery, were among his adventures.

He was educated at Harrow and, intending to join the Army, entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich. But his father. Major C.T. Macdonald, had returned from Queensland, where he had acquired property, with such glowing accounts of Australia that Claude decided to join his elder brother, Faulknar who had already settled at Wantabadgery.

The two brothers for years spent their lives between England and Australia. Mr. Claude Macdonald's activities in England included hunting with the Grafton pack in Northamptonshire, and writing accounts of runs for the magazine, 'The Field'.

Noted Mountaineer

He also became a noted climber, making many first ascents in the Alps, especially in the Bernese Oberland, where 'Pic Macdonald' was named after him.

He also climbed extensively in New Zealand and was for many years a vice-president of the Alpine Club.

When his son joined the Australian forces in wartime, Mr. Macdonald, though 85, set out for Australia in 1940 to manage Wantabadgery. His wife, formerly Miss Ethel Greene, who was accompanying him, died on the way. His son was killed with the AIF at Singapore, and despite his age Mr. Macdonald continued to manage the estate until he decided to join his three daughters in England.

Since then he had been living quietly in London, and although he seemed physically fit and took long walks, the severe shocks caused by the loss of his wife and son had left their mark.

Original publication

Citation details

'Macdonald, Claudius Augustus (Claude) (1859–1949)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/macdonald-claudius-augustus-claude-22137/text32049, accessed 15 November 2019.

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