Sgt. Ralph Morton Donaldson
Regimental No. 3566
Date of Disappearance: August 14, 1908
Location of Disappearance: Marble Island, Hudson Bay, North-West Territories
Age At Time of Disappearance: 30 Years
Donaldson was part of a crew on the ship "MacTavish". It was bringing supplies to Fullerton, North-West Territories.
On August 14th the ship anchored off Marble Island asthe crew made camp in the cave. Spcl Const. Ford, Cpl. Reeves and Sgt. Donaldson took a dinghy and rowed over to a small island one mille off from Marble where a large herd of walrus were seen. They hunted the walrus for meat to pick-up on their journey back from Fullerton. It was getting dark, Reeves and Donaldson were making return to the MacTavish. They left Ford on the small island to finish up and planned to send other members of the crew to retrieve him.
They were about half-way to the MacTavish. By then it had already turned dark. The small boat was suddenly hit by a walrus whose tusk had punctured a hole six inches long and three inches wide, just below the waterline right underneath the fore rowlocks.
The attempts to rown further to the MacTavish were futile. The water poured in fast causing both men to abandoned the sinking boat and make the swim to safety. Reeves swam towards the small island but saw Donaldson head in the opposite direction towards the MacTavish and Marble Island which was further away. Reeves made it to safety but Donaldson was never seen again. A search for him came up empty.
Background: Donaldson was a farmer and cheesemaker before he signed up. Donaldson was a single man from London, Ontario with a sister who lived in St. Thomas, Ontario. Donaldson was posted, as a Royal North-West Mounted Police, to Regina, Moosejaw, Ottawa and Churchill.