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Bacchus Marsh
Avenue of Honour

Sergeant William Samuel Alexander McKenzie

Service No.:
455
Unit:
4th Light Horse Regiment
Tree No.:
S186
Planted by:
C E Mckenzie (Brother)
Image of plaque on tree S186 for William McKenzie
Image of Service Medal - 1914-15 Star Image of Service Medal - British War Medal Image of Service Medal - Victory Medal

William was born in Bacchus Marsh, VIC in 1889 to William Andrew McKenzie and Emma Cox. William had a brother, Clive, who is also remembered in the Avenue.

William was a brickmaker at Bacchus Marsh, VIC when he enlisted in the AIF, 4th Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron on the 19th of August 1914 - only weeks after war was declared - aged 25. He embarked aboard the HMAT A18 Wiltshire in October, disembarking in Egypt in December.

The light horse were considered unsuitable for the initial operations at Gallipoli, but were subsequently deployed without their horses to reinforce the infantry. The 4th Light Horse Regiment landed on 22 and 24 May and its squadrons were initially scattered to reinforce the infantry battalions already ashore.

Source: AWM

In June 1915, William shared a 10/- prize with Colin Todd for the best dug-out in the regiment(3). In August William was admitted to hospital at Lemnos, suffering from diarrhoea - whether he returned to Gallipoli is unclear. He was promoted to Lance Corporal just before returning to Egypt in late December.

William was recorded as being admitted to the 11th General Hospital on the 5th of August 1916 suffering from severe multiple gunshot wounds. It is not clear where these injuries occurred or where this hospital was located(1).

In June 1917 William was promoted to Corporal before being admitted to hospital at Marakeb(4), Palestine, for a week. As part of the 4th Light Horse Regiment he possibly participated in the charge of the 4th Light Horse Brigade at Beersheba, in October(2). He was appointed as an acting Sergeant three times before being detached to a school of instruction - Jericho - in April 1918 for a month. William was promoted to Sergeant in July 1918 before again going to hospital in October - debility unknown. He returned to Egypt and was admitted to the 14th Australian General Hospital for a week before embarking for Australia aboard the Port Darwin in November, returning home in December and was discharged from the AIF in February after two months 1914 leave.

William died in Bacchus Marsh, VIC in 1970, aged 80.

He is listed on the Shire of Bacchus Marsh Roll of Honour, the Bacchus Marsh & District Roll of Honour, the Roll of Honour of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Bacchus Marsh, and the Holy Trinity Church Roll of Honour.

Notes

  1. There was an 11th General Hospital in Genoa, Italy.
    An article in The Bacchus Marsh Express, 23 Sept 1916 reports him wounded in France.
    There is no reason to believe he was fighting in France as his squadron did not go to France.
  2. Neil Smith
    Men of Beersheba : a history of the 4th Light Horse Regiment, 1914-1919.
    Melbourne : Mostly Unsung Military History Research and Publications, 1993
  3. The Bacchus Marsh Express 7 Aug 1915
  4. National Library of new Zealand

Location of Tree Number S186

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Last updated by lee, Wed, 12 May 2021 18:21:49