75 years since the death of: 151 Lt-Gen Sir A.C. Macdonell, KCB,CMG,DSO
“A true soldier appearreth, one compact at heart of sterner virtues and modesty of maintenance.”
– R. Bridges
(Excerpt from the 1942 Review)
Just after grim-visaged war had spread to both hemispheres death came to that great Soldier and Canadian, Lieut.-General Sir A. C. Macdonell, a man who, in the words of his old friend, Lord Mottistone, was “the embodiment of a fine military tradition, one of the most remarkable men alive.”
He died on the 23rd December, 1941, in Kingston, the city where in the year 1925 he retired from the Commandantship of his old College, the Royal Military College of Canada, to complete nearly forty years of service for his country.
Born in Windsor, Ontario, in 1864, Archibald Macdonell was the youngest son of Samuel Smith Macdonell, Q.C., LL.D., D.C.L., Colonel of the 2nd Essex Battalion, Canadian Militia, and his wife Ellen, daughter of Colonel D. D. Brodhead. His paternal grandfather, Colonel the Hon. Alexander Macdonell was a United Empire Loyalist who fought through the Revolutionary War of 1776-1783 and was an Assistant Paymaster-General in the War of 1812-1814. While on his mother’s side his great-uncle was Brig. T. Brodhead, mortally wounded at the second Battle of Bull’s Run in the American Civil War, and his great-great-uncle was one of Washington’s Brigadiers. But this is only the beginning of the story; those who had the honour of knowing Sir Archibald will remember with what justifiable pride he was wont to recall his Macdonell ancestry, harking back even to the 15th Century. It is small wonder that from his earliest days he was dedicated to the profession of arms.