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2807 WO1 (RSM) H. MACKENZIE, MC 46th Bn. A.I.F.

Hugh MACKENZIE was born at Menindee , New South Wales on the 27 January 1881 the son of Simon and Catherine MacKenzie. His father a Scotsman was a 48 year old storekeeper at his birth.

 

He originally enlisted into the AIF as a Officer on the 19 February 1916 and was allotted to the 14th Reinforcements of the 28th Battalion, as a Second Lieutenant. His appointment was promulgated in the Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 31/16. For reasons unknown MACKENZIE has had his Commission terminated on the 8 August 1916, it was promulgated in CAG 110/16. This would have no doubt been due to the desire of active service.

On the 19th September 1916 at Royal Park, Melbourne, Victoria he  enlisted into the AIF, this time as a Private. He stated his age as 35 years and 7 months with his occupation that as a farmer. His previous Commissioned AIF service of 11 months was listed on his attestation papers.

 

He was allotted to the 6th reinforcements of the 46 Battalion with service number 2807. He embarked from Melbourne on the 20 October 1916 briefly stopping over at Sierra Leone on the 4 December before re-embarked for England were he arrived on the 28 December 1916.

 

He has began further training at the School of Musketry at Tidworth during January February 1917 as having a fair knowledge of the Lewis Gun. He then went onto to complete a course of instruction at the the S.C. Bombing School , Lyndhurst between Feb-Mar 1917.

 

He has then proceeding overseas to France on the 3 May 1917 before been taken on strength of the 46 Battalion on the 8 May 1917. He was promoted temporary Corporal on the 11 May and confirmed in that rank on the 16 June 1917. He was soon to see action as the 46th Battalion was put into the line during the Battle of Messines.

The medal case.

He was wounded in action at Belgium on the 18 August 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres, suffering a severe shrapnel wound to his right leg. Returned to England for treatment it was not until the 10 May 1918 that he rejoined his unit, now a Lance Sergeant. He was then promoted to Warrant Officer Class 2 (CSM) then Warrant Officer Class 1 both on the 17 July 1918.

 

He was wounded on a second occasion at Peronne on the 18 September 1918 with shrapnel wounds to his leg and shoulder. For his actions on this day his was awarded the Military Cross. After treatment in France he again rejoined his unit in the field on the 10 October 1918. 

 

He finally returned to Australia per Troopship "Plassy" on the 5 September 1919 arriving in Australia on 25 October 1919. He was discharged from the AIF on the 16 March 1920.

 

He died at the Heidelberg Repatriation General Hospital, Victoria on the 13 October 1962 aged 82 years, and cremated at the Springvale Crematorium three days later. He was twice married and was survived by his wife and two children. 

Military Cross:

 

R.S.M. (W.O. Class 1) Hugh MacKenzie

46th Battalion. A.I.F.

 

For courage and devotion to duty. His work of keeping up the supply of ammunition has been excellent. During the attack east of PERONNE on 18th September, 1918, Battalion Headquarters came under heavy shell fire and became very disorganized. It was owing to his initiative and courage that this was quickly remedied. His up and until he was wounded in the advance was of the greatest value to the Battalion. As R.S.M. of the Battalion his work has always been of the greatest assistance in maintaining a very high state of efficiency and discipline: his bearing and example has always had a very marked effect on the N.C.Os. of the battalion. The N.C.O. has done brilliant work in the Battalion, and I strongly recommend him for reward.

 

Promulgated in the Fifth Supplement, No. 31370 to the London Gazette, dated 3rd June, 1919.

&

Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, No. 109 dated 15th September, 1919.

There was a total of 2398 Military Crosses awarded to the AIF during the First World War with 170 first bars and 4 second bars. Of these only 36 went to Warrant Officers; a breakdown is as follows; Artillery 4, Light Horse 2, Infantry 26, Signals 1 & Army Service Corps 3.
Please note: That the campaign awards of the British War Medal and Victory Medal do not appear to have been issued. This is detailed in his service file which states that both these medals were returned unclaimed on the 30 September 1924. He had been was issued his MC from 5 Military District in 1921. So sometime between these years he has moved on leaving no contact address. From my research the reasons for this appear to be as follows. In Dec 1919 his form of Commission was forwarded to his first wife in South Perth . He has then re-married at some stage and from his death certificate he has moved around between States a lot. States locations as follows, 39 years in Victoria, 14 years in WA, 14 years in NSW, 8 years in SA and 2 years in Tasmania.
 

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Digger History:  an unofficial history of the Australian & New Zealand Armed Forces