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Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Pte 17513 32y6m 16 Aug 1916 9 Sep 1919 2

Private Samuel McGregor (1884—1953)


Family background and early life

Samuel McGregor was born in County Donegal, Ireland in 1884, the seventh child in a family of eleven children.  In the census of 31 March 1901 Samuel and another eight of his siblings were living with their parents, John and Esther McGregor in Raphoe, a heritage town in East Donegal.  John McGregor then aged 63 was a woollen draper and Mrs Esther McGregor was house manager.  The children ranged in age from 27 years to 9 years.  Their first two daughters were dressmakers. Their eldest son Robert was a draper’s assistant and Samuel, then 17 years old, was a draper apprentice. The other five children were scholars. Their religion was Presbyterian and they could all read and write. Mr John McGregor died in Strabane1, Ireland in 1907.

When Samuel was 27 years old he came to Australia. He travelled on the ship Irishman departing Liverpool in England on 15 March 1912.  By the end of that year, he had settled in Brisbane in a boarding house called Warriston in Petrie Terrace, gained employment as a draper’s assistant and joined Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church as a communicant member.

1st AIF service

On 16 August 1916 Samuel McGregor enlisted at Brisbane to serve overseas in the Great War in the Australian Imperial Force (AIF).  Then 32 years 6 months old, still single and without military experience, he gave his mother’s name, Mrs Esther McGregor of Raphoe, County Donegal, as next-of-kin and his religious denomination as Presbyterian.  Private McGregor, Regimental Number 17513, was assigned to the Australian Army Medical Corps stationed at Enoggera where he remained until July 1917.

In company with general reinforcements he embarked from Sydney on 1 August on board HMAT2 A7 Medic for Halifax, Nova Scotia.  There the troops transferred to SS Orissa and arrived at Liverpool on 3 October.  After a fortnight at the AMC Training Depot at Parkhouse in southern England, Private McGregor proceeded overseas to Rouelles to serve with the 8th Field Ambulance.

Working within the 8th Brigade 5th Division, the 8th Field Ambulance was responsible for providing second line evacuation from regimental aid posts (RAP) that were deployed forward with the attacking troops, to casualty clearing stations.  This was dangerous work, medical orderlies and stretcher bearers being exposed to artillery mortar, gas and direct fire from rifles and machine guns. Private Samuel McGregor served with the 8th Field Ambulance throughout the remainder of the war, supporting the 6th Brigade’s operations in Belgium and France.

According to his war service record, he was admitted to hospital suffering from debility during December 1918 and the beginning of 1919.  He crossed the channel to Weymouth in April 1919 to prepare for return to Australia. On the voyage on the ship Orita departing London on 23 June 1919, Private McGregor served as a member of the nursing staff.  He was discharged from the AIF in Brisbane on 9 September 1919.


On his return to civilian life, Samuel McGregor resumed his employment as a draper’s assistant and his membership at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at the corner of Creek and Ann Streets in Brisbane.  His new address was 111 Arthur Street, Fortitude Valley.

Samuel McGregor was 36 years of age when he married Henrietta Crouch (daughter of Henry and Eliza Jane Crouch née Ainsbury) on 5 January 1921. They lived at 32 Napier Street, Ascot where they remained for the rest of their married lives. Their children were Jean and Henry. Samuel’s occupation was draper.  He took an interest in freemasonry, becoming a member of Celtic of Ithaca Lodge.  His death occurred on 10 August 1953 at Brisbane and Mrs Henrietta McGregor died in 1969.

1.Strabane is a town in West Tyrone, Northern Ireland
2. His Majesty’s Australian Transport

• Ancestry on line
• National Archives of Australia, military records, World War 1
• National War Memorial, Embarkation Rolls and unit histories
• Australian Electoral Rolls, 1912 – 1949
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages
• Outward Passenger Lists departing United Kingdom, 1912
• Annual Reports, Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, 1912 – 1921
The Courier-Mail, 11 August 1953, page 18
Brisbane Telegraph, 15 August 1953, page 6

Compiled by Noel E. Adsett, Brisbane.  March 2017 ©



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