Ian and Blanche


1.1.4 Quartermaster Sergeant Alexander McRae (1771-1855)

Alexander served with the 78th Highland Regiment in India, where he took part in the Battle of Assaye in 1803 and in several other engagements.  He was present at the capture of Java in 1811.

Family oral tradition8  brings us an image of Alexander as a robust military man, a true-to-type descendant of the Brave MacRas. Physically he was so large that two ordinary men standing side by side could put on his greatcoat and do up all the buttons.  Captured by the French before the Battle of Waterloo, he escaped in time to take part in the battle after overpowering his two guards and subduing them by banging their heads together.

In 1815 Alexander retired from the army "after twenty-five years of faithful, zealous, and gallant good conduct" according to his commanding officer, to settle in Kirkton, Lochalsh.  In 1818 he married Elizabeth MacKenzie (b.1790), a lady of high social standing.9  The couple had six children:

Alexander (1819—1899) m.1850 Jean MacDonald (1825—1866).
Donald (1820—1891).
Jane b.1821 m.1848 Robert Forbes.
David b.1823 (may have emigrated to Australia).
Christina b.1824 m.1850 Alexander MacIntosh.
Charles (1831—1885).

Continue reading: 1.2 First Foothold in Australia

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1.1 Scottish Origins

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1.1.4 Quartermaster Sergeant Alexander McRae (1771-1855)

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8. Source: Dave McRae, great-grandson of Alexander, via John M. McRae.

9. For details, see "The History of the Clan MacRae," in the section dealing with Alexander Macrae.