John Daniel (‘Jack’) McLachlan
John Daniel McLachlan was born in Cumnock in 1895, the fourth child and eldest son of John Angus McLachlan and his wife Emma nee Kearney. John Angus – or ‘Jack’/’Jock’, as he was known – was the the highly popular proprietor of the Cumnock Hotel between 1888 and 1904.
The family moved to Peisley Street in Orange following the sale of the hotel in 1904. In 1912 John Daniel – also known as ‘Jack’ – started a two-year apprenticeship with the butcher Thomas Hamer on Bathurst Road in East Orange. In December 1914 Jack enlisted in WWI; he embarked the following February, a private in the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcements.
In April 1915 Private McLachlan joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force and proceeded to Gallipoli, where he was hospitalised twice. In July he sustained a gunshot wound to his left hand, and in November an infected heel. On 1 August 1915 he was appointed Lance Corporal, however this promotion would later be revoked.
In March 1916 McLachlan proceeded to France. Three months later he was admitted to No. 13 Stationary Hospital in Boulogne, suffering a gunshot wound to the right eye. In October he was transferred to the 54th Battalion. Jack was hospitalised for a fourth time, in November 1916, with an abscess.
Private McLachlan was transferred back to the 3rd Battalion late in 1916. He was killed in action on 9 April 1917.
Jack McLachlan is commemorated on the Patrician Brothers’ Roll of Honour, St Joseph’s Church Orange Honour Roll and on the World War I Roll of Honour on the southern face of the Orange Cenotaph. He is also remembered on his sister Bertha’s headstone in Orange Cemetery.
In 1923 the Anzac Memorial Avenue of trees was planted along Bathurst Road to commemorate fallen WWI soldiers. A tree was planted in honour of “Pte JD McLachlan”; it was donated by Orange High School. Very few of the trees are still standing today.
Leader, 2 May 1917, p1.
Obituary. Private J. McLachlan