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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Alick" Alexander MACLEAN

Born 3 April 1889 in Lairg, Sutherland, Scotland [18] [28]
Son of shepherd Donald MACLEAN and "Betsy" Elizabeth MACPHERSON [21] [28]
Resided with his parents and siblings at the shepherd's cottage at Allnacaorach in Lairg, Sutherland, Scotland [P375]
     Allnacaorach is Gaelic for 'stream of the sheep' as allna means burn which is Scottish for stream, and caorach is sheep [P375]
     He was one of ten children with nine siblings - John, Peter, Donald, David, Kemp, Thomas, Kate, William and Jane [21]
     With his siblings walked to Lairg village on Mondays to attend school, lodged in the village, and walked home on Fridays [P375]
     He later received further education at Dingwall Academy in Dingwell, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland [177]
     In 1901 he was living with his parents and some of his siblings on Back Street in Rosskeen, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland [21]
     When his father retired the family moved to Drumlea in Bonar Bridge, Sutherland, Scotland [P375]
     It is believed, like his parents and sisters, that he would have been a fluent speaker of Gaelic [P375]
Departed London, England on the steamship Kaipara on 1 December 1911 bound for Fremantle, Western Australia [203]
     Travelled out on the Kaipara with his brother William Montague MACLEAN, who was a year younger than himself [203]
     Their elder brother Thomas Munsey MACLEAN was already in Western Australia, having immigrated in about 1908 [18]
     He and his brother William arrived on the steamship Kaipara in Fremantle, Western Australia on 12 January 1912 [23]
     In 1913 he joined the Education Department of Western Australia, and gave satisfactory test lessons on 8 April 1913 [41]
     He joined the Department with secondary education, teaching experience in Scotland and after passing the entrance exam [41]
Head Teacher on Probation of the Carnamah State School in Carnamah from 29 April 1913 until August 1914 [41]
     He was the second teacher to take charge of the one-teacher Carnamah State School which had opened the previous year [73]
     Boarded, except for sleeping, with Henry and Mary J. McCLYMANS and their children in Carnamah in 1913 [39: 13, 14, & 15-Aug-1913]
     He performed a violin solo at the farewell given in Carnamah on 7 May 1913 to the local stationmaster and his wife [9: 16-May-1913]
     Member of the Carnamah Football Club in 1913 [9: 11-Jul-1913]
     In September 1913 an Education Department inspector reported "Inexperienced but eager to improve. A Good Teacher." [41]
     Received an annual salary of £110 in 1913 and 1914, plus an extra £12 per annum as the school had no living quarters [41] [73]
     In 1914 sat for his Education Department C Exam of 15 parts - passing nine, receiving an interim for four and failing two parts [41]
     In his C Exam he passed in reading, recitation, spelling, arithmetic, drawing, geography, geometry, music and French [41]
     Of the other six parts he received an interim for writing, English, history and drill; and failed in education and algebra [41]
     He purchased two quarter-acre blocks in the Carnamah townsite from the Midland Railway Company on 26 May 1914 [27]
     The two blocks were 5 and 7 Macpherson Street, otherwise known as Lots 33 and 34 of Victoria Location 1936 [27]
     He purchased the two blocks for £15 each on intsalments over up to 18 months, which he completed paying [27]
The Education Department granted him leave on 27 August 1914 to go to war with the expeditionary forces [41]
     While on leave he was appointed Head Teacher off probation of the Carnamah State School from 1 January 1915 [41]
     Henry HORSEY was transferred to Carnamah to fulfil his duties while he was on leave and at war [73]
     The Education Department, who didn't learn of his death, again appointed him Head Teacher on leave for Carnamah in 1916 [41]
Passed as fit and accepted for active service in the Australian Imperial Force on 31 August 1914 [30: item 1952502]
     Enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force at Blackboy Hill in the Perth hills on 14 September 1914 [30]
     He had previous experience from three years of military training camp in Scotland [30]
     Upon enlistment he was 6 feet ¾ inches tall, weighed 164 pounds with blue-grey eyes, light brown hair and a fair complexion [30]
     Gave his next of kin as his eldest brother Lieut. John MACLEAN of the Partick Constabulary in Glasgow, Scotland [30] [P375]
     His pending departure for the war was spoken of at a Concert & Dance held in Carnamah on 19 September 1914 [39: 26-Sep-1914]
     Those present at the Concert & Dance in Carnamah resolved to send him a letter "wishing him God speed" [39: 26-Sep-1914]
     On 6 October 1914 at Blackboy Hill he was appointed to the Australian Imperial Force's 12th Infantry Battalion [30]
     Embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia for active service abroad on the H.M.A.T. Medic on 2 November 1914 [30]
     Private 848 in the Australian Imperial Force's 12th Infantry Battalion in Egypt and Gallipoli during the First World War [30]
     Embarked Alexandria, Egypt on the H.M.T. Devanha on 2 March 1915 to join the Australian Imperial Forces at Gallipoli [30]
     On 2 May 1915 it was reported that he had been missing since the landing at Gallipoli on Sunday 25 April 1915 [30]
     One of his comrades reported he had received a gunshot wound, possibly to the arm, on 25 April 1915 and headed for the beach [18]
     After that date he was never seen again and his body was never found [30]
     A Board of Inquiry declared on 5 June 1915 that he been Killed in Action at the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey on 25 April 1915 [30]
Killed in Action on 25 April 1915; memorialised at the Lone Pine Memorial at Victoria Gully in Turkey [17] [18]
His name appears on the Carnamah War Memorial and the Carnamah Honour Roll [35]
     The Carnamah War Memorial is situated near the intersection of Macpherson and Yarra Streets in the Carnamah townsite [35]
     The Carnamah Honour Roll is located within the Sporting Complex at Niven Park in the Carnamah townsite [35]
In Scotland his name appears on the War Memorials in Lairg and Bonar Bridge and also on the Dornoch Cathedral Honour Roll [P375]
His brother William enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and served on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey and in Egypt [30: item 1964236]
Their brother Thomas enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and was Killed in Action in Belgium on 24 June 1917 [30: item 1964224]
Their elder brother Kemp MACLEAN served with the Royal Scots and was Killed in Action in France on 28 March 1918 [17]
By 1920 his two quarter-acre blocks, at 5 and 7 Macpherson Street in the Carnamah townsite, were owned by Robert PALFREYMAN [44]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'Alexander MacLean' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 22 May 2024 from [reference list]

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