On 23 December 1916 Private George Mackenzie, died of wounds, in France. He was aged 20. George enlisted at Golspie and served with the 1/6th (Morayshire) Battalion, Seaforth Highlanders Territorial Force and his regimental number was 5543. He had formerly been with 1036 5th Bn Seaforth Highlanders. George’s parents were Kenneth MacKenzie and Annie née Sinclair of Reidchalmai, Rogart.
A report of his death appeared in The Northern Times under the heading of ‘Rogart Lad Falls’.
We have again to record the loss of another of our sons in the battle line (writes a Rogart correspondent).
Intimation has been received by Mr and Mrs K MacKenzie, Rhecalmie, of the death of their son, Private George MacKenzie, from wounds received in action on the 26th December, at the early age of 20 years.
When war broke out he joined up at the close of 1914, and after a course of training went across to France in July last year.
Of a quiet and retiring disposition, he associated himself more closely with the work of the home and holding. But, recognising his duty lay in giving his service on behalf of his country, he cheerfully gave himself to the work with enthusiasm and energy. For some months he was on sick leave; but would always anxious to be fit and active duty again. He was liked by all with whom he came in contact, and many recognised underneath the quiet demeanour the true, sterling qualities which lay hidden. The community mourns with the parents and relatives the loss of a son and brother.”
An extract from 6th Battalion Diary, December 1915, relating to George McKenzie: “Martinsart December 12. Martinsart shelled at 2am. Casualties 1 killed, 13 wounded, also 1 man of 7th Black Watch wounded.”
George’s wounds resulted in his death ten days later. He was buried in the Contay British Cemetery, France and is commemorated on the Rogart war memorial.
The following picture was probably taken before the Great War, as all of the men are wearing 5th Seaforths Territorial uniforms. George Mackenzie is seated, front right.