Thursday, April 24, 2014

Trans Tasman ANZAC Day Blog Challenge - 2014 - Malcolm Michael (Mack) Shepherd

Malcolm Michael Shepherd 
ANZAC day is almost here, and this blog is my contribution to the Trans Tasman ANZAC Blog Challenge that is run each year by Kintalk.  This challenge provides an opportunity to relate family stories that are linked with the ANZAC's and Australian and New Zealand military history. This year I would like to write about by grandfather Malcolm Michael Shepherd.

Mack's Dog Tags
Mack Shepherd (as he fondly was known) the second son of Lynn Shepherd (III) and Annie McDonald was born on 29 September 1892, in Braidwood, NSW Australia.  Mack grew up on the family property on Araluen Road, in the Braidwood District.  Prior to enlisting in the army he worked with his older brother Angus in his father's carrying business transporting goods from Braidwood to Nelligen and Braidwood to Goulburn.

Mack enlisted in the 30th Infantry Battalion on the 31  January 1916.  His enlistment number 3315. His Military record describes a tall young man of 6ft 2 inches, with fair hair, fresh complexion and grey eyes. 

Lark Hill Military Base
He was part of the 7th Reinforcement of the 30th Infantry Battalion and on the 2 May 1916 his division left Australia on the HMAT Hororata bound for the Europe via Suez and then on to Lark Hill Military Base, Salisbury, England.  From here he was transferred to North Africa to join the 30th Battalion before finally being shipped to the Front in France.

For the next two years Mack served as a stretcher bearer on the battle line in France, until 8 August 1918 when he was wounded while serving on the front line.  He received a gunshot wound in his forearm. He was transferred from the front line to the Military Hospital at Camiers. From here he was transferred to Wymouth Military Hospital to recover. The war was close to an end and Mack was shipped back to Australia on the 27 November 1918.

Annie and Lynn Shepherd were relieved to have their son return from Europe, their first son Angus John Shepherd, who had enlisted in the 3rd Division of the 33rd Battalion stayed on in France after the war for another year, enlisting with the War Graves Division.

As the local paper reported, the community paid its respect to Private Shepherd and welcomed him home with considerable pomp and ceremony.

Malcolm Shepherd settled back into the carrier business, assisting his father and then establishing his own business with a bullock team of his home.  He worked mainly carting logs after they were felled to the sawmills around the south coast.

On the 29th September 1923, at St Andrew's Church, Goulburn, he married Christina Lee, the daughter George  Lee and Catherine McGregor.   Their start of married life was overshadowed by the loss of their first child Muriel in 1924, however, their family soon expanded with the birth of Malcolm in 1926, Colin in 1928 and Nancy in 1930. It seemed that Mack had been able to move on from the trauma of the Western Front and settle into family life with his own thriving business.  However, this was not to be.

Braidwood Dispatch, 13th March 1931,

Serious Accident
A telegram was received by Mrs. Lynn Shepherd of Braidwood on Wednesday announcing that her son Mac Shepherd had met with a serious accident that day as a result of which he was lying in a serious condition in Moruya Hospital. Mac and his brother Angus were carting timber at the time. There were no particulars as to how the accident happened.  Mrs Shepherd went by car down to Moruya that same afternoon.

Mack Shepherd had been injured seriously when a tree fell on his head while he was working in the bush.  He spent considerable time in hospital and then convalesced at home, however his health did not improve and early in the following year (6 January 1932) he passed away leaving his young wife, Tina and three children. Family letters describe Mack as a quiet kind and hard working family man.  A man who experienced much in his short life.

I recently visited the small town of Braidwood and took the opportunity to visit the local war memorial, to pay my respects to the grandfather that I never knew.
War Memorial - Braidwood

National Archives, Army - World War I - 1914-1918,


  1. I have always thought the war memorial at Braidwood a very fine one and was pleased to read the story of one of the men listed on it. Regards Anne

  2. Yes, Braidwood is such a lovely little historical village, steeped in history. Glad you liked my post.

  3. Thanks for sharing Mack's story many stories, so much impact and so much loss. Even those who returned home like Mack suffered, and their experiences must have affected their recuperative abilities.

  4. "Mack"......I just like the sound of it. It is so familiar and cosy.

    I liked the picture of the "dog tags". These really do look like dog tags compared to what we see on the TV!

  5. Many fond memories of Braidwood. What a sad story. He looks a lovely and well loved young man in that first photo.

  6. I enjoyed your writings for the ANZAC challenge.

  7. Thank you all for your kind comments