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Walter Scipio MACTAGGART

Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
Lieut 6 27y10m 21 Aug 1914 24 Dec 1918 1

Lieutenant Walter Scipio Mactaggart (1886 – 1953)

Mactaggart Brothers Booklet 

Mactaggart Family

The names of Lieutenant Walter S Mactaggart and Lieutenant Eric Mactaggart are printed in gold lettering on a Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Honour Board at Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church. They were respectively the eldest and youngest children of Daniel and Florence Rosalie Mactaggart of Ascot in Brisbane. The other four children were girls - Jeannie, Florence, Marjorie and Dora. They all attended Saint Andrew’s. Presbyterian Church.

Daniel Mactaggart was a pioneer in the beef fattening industry in the Burnett and Mary Valleys and founder in Maryborough of the stock and station agency which still bears his name. He took a strong interest in the sport of rowing in Maryborough. When Maryborough was linked by rail to Brisbane, Daniel Mactaggart and his brother opened a branch of Mactaggart Brothers Limited in the capital where the firm prospered. 

Mrs Mactaggart came from Victoria and her marriage took place in Maryborough, Queensland before the family moved to Markwell Street, Ascot in Brisbane in 1892. A home and garden lover, the cares of her family of four daughters and two sons were her principal interest though she was a keen supporter of the Presbyterian Church. Through her husband she became closely identified with the pastoral interests of the State.

Their sons, Walter and Dan returned from service in Europe though both suffered the harmful effects of gassing. Daniel Mactaggart was Governing Director of Mactaggart Brothers Limited when he died in 1924, aged 71 years. Mrs Mactaggart died fourteen years later.

Early Life

Eldest son of Daniel and Florence Rosalie Mactaggart, Walter was born in Maryborough on 5 October 1886. While attending Brisbane Grammar School from 1900 till 1904, Walter Mactaggart was a member of the First IV Rowing Team, the Empire Cup Shooting Team and the School Cadets. He spent several years in a bank before entering the stock department of the growing Mactaggart concern. Along with their parents, Walter and his sisters Jeannie, Florence and Marjorie were listed as members of Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in 1912.

Enlistment and Service

His was a very early enlistment in the Australian Imperial Force on 21 August 1914. With regimental number 6, he joined 9th Infantry Battalion, was promoted to the rank of Sergeant a week later and sailed from Brisbane on HMAT Omrah on 24 September 1914 for service at Gallipoli, France and Belgium. His battalion was training at Egypt before the Gallipoli campaign when the photograph in the gallery was taken. He received a commission on 13 December 1916 and was promoted Lieutenant. He was injured in 1918, gassed and in hospital in France.

Life After Service in Brisbane

On 12 March 1919 Lieutenant Walter Mactaggart married Edith Audrey Cowen of Redcliffe in a service at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church conducted by the Rev Hubert Robertson. Sadly, Audrey died in May 1920 at the age of 26 years. In March 1922, Walter married Mildred Gladys Gilles in a wedding at the Church of St Benedict, East Brisbane conducted by Rev Father  O’Connor.

In May 1924, a Brisbane newspaper unexpectedly reported,  “An atmosphere of gloom descended upon Brisbane society yesterday when it became known that Mrs Walter Mactaggart, the young wife of Mr WS Mactaggart of Booroodabin Avenue, Bowen Hills, had died suddenly in her sleep. The late Mrs Mactaggart, as Miss Gladys Gilles, was one of the popular members of the younger set of Brisbane.” Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church was again the scene of a quiet wedding on the evening of 22 June 1927 when Mr Walter Mactaggart (eldest son of the late Mr Dan Mactaggart and Mrs Mactaggart, Hamilton) was married to Miss Alice Mary Macdonald (younger daughter of Mr and Mrs John Macdonald, Edmondstone Street, South Brisbane). The Rev Mervyn Henderson officiated. The Macdonalds were also Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church members.

Walter Mactaggart rejoined the old firm after his discharge from the AIF. He was appointed a Director when the family business became a public company in the early twenties. He became widely known in Queensland, especially in the livestock selling industry.


He died suddenly of cerebral haemorrhage on 8 September 1953, leaving his widow and three daughters. His younger brother, Mr Dan Eric Mactaggart was Managing Director of Mactaggarts Primary Producers’ Co-operative Association Ltd.

Select Bibliography
• Bean C.E.W., Anzac to Amiens, Penguin Books, 2014
• Saint Andrew’s Uniting Church Archives, Saint Andrews Presbyterian Church Annual Reports 1901 – 1925
• National Archives of Australia, military records
• Brisbane Grammar School Archives, The Golden Book
The Central Queensland Herald, Rockhampton, 5 July 1956, page 29
Pastoral Review and Graziers’ Record, 16 August 1956
• Queensland Register of Births, Deaths and Marriages
• First World War Embarkation Rolls
Maryborough Chronicle, Wide Bay and Burnett Advertiser, 30 January 1924, page 5
The Courier-Mail, 30 July 1937, page 7
The Sunday Mail, 22 April 2007. page 41
The Queenslander, Brisbane, 29 March 1919, page 6
The Brisbane Courier, 18 May 1920, page 6; 1 March 1922, page 15; 27 May 1924, page 14; 
Queensland Figaro, Brisbane, 2 July 1927, page 9
Queensland Country Life, 10 Sept 1953, page 4
Pastoral Review, 16 February 1924

Compiled by N. E. Adsett, Brisbane, January 2015 ©



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