On Tuesday, 26 March 2019 we honoured Private Alexander McKinnon at a Last Post Ceremony.
Born in 1889 in Charlotte Waters, Northern Territory, Alexander was a 26 year old station hand when he enlisted to the AIF – the Australian Imperial Forces – in May of 1916.
In August 1916, Alexander left Adelaide for overseas service aboard the HMAT Ballarat, where he disembarked in England to join the 43rd Australian Infantry Battalion.
The 43rd Battalion was apart of the 3rd Division which was raised in Australia in early 1916. The Battalion was South Australia’s contribution to strengthen the division. Along with the 41st, 42nd, and 44th Battalions, plus support troops, it formed the 11th Brigade.
Arriving at the Western Front in late December, the Battalion spent 1917 bogged in bloody trench warfare in Flanders. In June they took part in the battle of Messines and in October the Third Battle of Ypres.
During his service Alexander suffered from several bouts of illness and was hospitalised in early 1917. He then rejoined his Battalion the following month where he served until he was killed in action during the battle of Broodseinde on the 4th of October 1917.