Alexander McGregor (Alec) MCKENZIE

Poppy

MCKENZIE, Alexander McGregor

Service Numbers: 1797, 1797A
Enlisted: 7 May 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 32nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Talia, South Australia, 11 January 1891
Home Town: Talia, Elliston, South Australia
Schooling: Talia State School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Killed in action, Fromelles, France, 20 July 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery
1916 - NO known grave. Commemorated on VC Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles. In 2008 a burial ground was located at Pheasant Wood, France containing the bodies of 250 British and Australian soldiers including Pte McKenzie. His body was identified and reburied in a new cemetery - Pheasant Wood Cemetery. His name is located at panel 120 in the Commemorative Area at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, ACT.
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Coorabie War Memorial, Coorabie and District WW1 Roll of Honor, Elliston War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

7 May 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia
23 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 1797, 27th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
23 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 1797, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Kanowna, Adelaide
20 Jul 1916: Involvement SN 1797A, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)
Date unknown: Involvement SN 1797, 32nd Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement 27th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières

One of the LOST - found in 2008 at Fromelles

20/7/1916 Private Alexander McGregor McKenzie was killed in action at Fromelles, France
buried in: No known grave (as of 1916).

After the war, his grave could not be located and he was commemorated on the VC Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles.

In 2008 a burial ground was located at Pheasant Wood, France containing the bodies of 250 British and Australian soldiers including Pte McKenzie.

All of the remains were reburied in the newly created :-

Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery, Fromelles, Lille, Nord Pas de Calais, France

At the time of the official dedication of the new cemetery on 19 July 2010, 96 of the Australians,
including Pte Alexander McGregor McKenzie,
had been identified through a combination of anthropological, archaeological, historical and DNA information.

Work is continuing on identifying the other remains relocated from the burial ground and buried in the new
cemetery as unknown soldiers.

25/11/2014. Lest we forget.

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Biography

Father  James McGregor McKenzie  and  Mother  Mary McKenzie  (nee Jeffrey)
living at Sailia, West Coast, South Australia.

Prior to enlisting Alexander lived at Talia, near Elliston, South Australia.

Described on enlisting as 24 years 4 months old; single; 5' 7" tall; 151 lbs; fresh complexion;
blue eyes; light brown hair; Church of England.

4/5/1915        completed medical - fit for service

7/5/1915        Enlisted in Keswick, South Australia

June 1915     Commanding Officer appointed Alexander to 2nd reinforcements of the 27th Battalion
                      Mitcham Camp

23/6/1915      Embarked from Outer Harbour, Port Adelaide on board  HMAT Kanowna A61
                      with the 2nd reinforcements of the 27th Battalion

After 14 weeks on the Gallipoli Peninsula he was evacuated back to Egypt and took ill.
On recovery he was transferred to the 32nd Battalion and sailed for France.

4/9/1915        Embarked from Alexandria, Egypt to join the Mediteranean Expeditionary Forces
                      in Gallipoli

The 32nd Battalion was raised as part of the 8th Brigade at Mitcham, on the outskirts of Adelaide, on 9 August 1915. Only two companies were raised from South Australian enlistees – another two were formed in Western Australia and joined the battalion at the end of September. The battalion sailed from Adelaide on 18 November 1915.

 

10/1/1916      Disembarked ex Mudros, into Alexandria, Egypt

10/3/1916      sick to hospital, Ismalia
                      admitted to the 6th Field Ambulance, Ismalia
11/3/1916      admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital - with Jaundice
                      transferred to 1st Australian Station Hospital

19/3/1916      discharged to duty, Ismalia

6/4/1916        taken on strength into 32nd Battalion, Duntroon Plateau
24/4/1916      absorbed on strength, Ferry Post

17/6/1916      embarked to join British Expeditionary Forces, Alexandria
23/6/1916      disembarked from  HMT Transylvannia, into Marseilles, France

 

The 8th Brigade joined the newly raised 5th Australian Division in Egypt, and proceeded to France, destined for the Western Front, in June 1916. The 32nd Battalion fought its first major battle at Fromelles on 19 July 1916, having only entered the front-line trenches 3 days previously. The attack was a disastrous introduction to battle for the 32nd – it suffered 718 casualties, almost 75 per cent of the battalion’s total strength, but closer to 90 per cent of its actual fighting strength. Although it still spent periods in the front line, the 32nd played no major offensive role for the rest of the year.

 

20/7/1916      ** Noted as MISSING **

20/7/1916        Killed in action at Fromelles, France
buried in:         No known grave (in 1916).

 

After the war his grave could not be located and he was commemorated on the VC Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles.

In 2008 a burial ground was located at Pheasant Wood, France containing the bodies of 250 British and Australian soldiers including Pte McKenzie.

All of the remains were reburied in the newly created :-

Pheasant Wood Military Cemetery, Fromelles, Lille, Nord Pas de Calais, France

At the time of the official dedication of the new cemetery on 19 July 2010,    96  of the Australians,
including Pte Alexander McGregor McKenzie,
had been identified through a combination of anthropological, archaeological, historical and DNA information.

Work is continuing on identifying the other remains relocated from the burial ground and buried in the new
cemetery as unknown soldiers.

 

Medals:
WWI 1914-15 Star (22008); British War medal (15126); Victory medal (15066);
Memorial Plaque and Memorial Scroll (315015).

Birth details source: South Australian Births 1842 - 1906 Book: 473 Page: 246 District: Fli.

Sourced and submitted by Julianne T Ryan.  25/11/2014.  Lest we forget.
 

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