Private Roderick J MacDonald

28 Mar 1943

Roderick John MacDonald, the son of Roderick and Euphemia MacDonald of Peebles, served in the Highland Light Infantry prior to volunteering for airborne forces in 1942.

He qualified as a military parachutist on course 34, which ran at RAF Ringway in October 1942, and was later posted to B Company, 2nd Parachute Battalion, as a reinforcement in North Africa.

By March 1943, the battalion was operating with the rest of 1st Parachute Brigade in and around.the Béja Sector.

At 07.00 hours on 27 March 1943 the battalion had moved to an assembly point west of Djebel Abiod and was given orders later that day for its part in a night attack by the 1st Parachute Brigade towards Sedjenane (Sejenane).

The attack was difficult, requiring an uphill advance through a minefield with trip wires. B Coy crossed the start line at 23.00 hours following a heavy artillery bombardment of enemy positions and was led by Lt 'Dicky' Dover's platoon.

Shortly after midnight Lt Dover's platoon sergeant triggered a trip wire and an explosion amongst the leading section, causing seven casualties. As a result of the explosion it is believed that Sgt Lenderyou, Cpl Thomas Gay, Pte Barry Arliss, Pte Rod MacDonald were killed outright with Lt Dover and Pte Page wounded. Pte Page later died of his wounds.

Pte MacDonald died on 28 March 1943, aged 19 years, and is now buried at Tabarka Ras Rajel War Cemetery, Tunisia.

Cemetery photograph courtesy of CWGC.

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Service History

Roderick J MacDonald

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