On 11 October 1918 Signal Sergeant Kenneth Mackenzie was killed in action, in France; he was aged 32.
Kenneth was the son of John Mackenzie, baker of The Cross, Pittentrail and Jessie (née Mackay). Born in Brora on 30 December 1885, he had a twin sister named Grace.
Kenneth had worked for some time on the railways and later came home to assist in his father’s business. He had served for four years in the Seaforth Highlanders and been a member of the Sutherland Territorials. He had attended a course of instruction at Hythe in Kent in 1913, the knowledge from which was “used for the benefit of the country” on the battlefield three years later.
In April 1914 Kenneth went to Calgary, Canada where he was employed as a telegraph operator and, early in 1916, he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in which he served as a Signals Sergeant in the 25th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Nova Scotia Regiment) and his regimental number was 183179.
In October 1916, Sgt Mackenzie went to France and from that time until the time of his death (2 years) he had a mere 7 days furlough. In the week before his death he was expected to be in Rogart, and just as his relatives were awaiting his arrival in person the sad intelligence of his death came through.
On 11 October 1918 Kenneth was taking part in operations near Escaudoeuvres when he was struck by splinters from an enemy shell – death being instantaneous. It was not for a further three weeks that his death was reported in The Northern Times (31 October 1918).
He was buried in the Canadian Cemetery, Tilloy-Lez-Cambrai, France and memorialised on the Rogart war memorial, the ‘Served with Forces’ plaque in Dornoch Cathedral and on the family headstone in St Callan’s kirkyard, Rogart (shown here).
Thanks to Ian Mackay, Folkestone for this information about his relation.