Albert Edgar MACKAY DCM

MACKAY, Albert Edgar

Service Number: 1028
Enlisted: 2 August 1915
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 13th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Warraquil, Victoria, 1892
Home Town: Violet Town, Strathbogie, Victoria
Schooling: Violet Town State School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Sydney, NSW, 27 January 1982, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Tarcutta General Cemetery
Memorials: Euroa Telegraph Park, Netherby Baker State School Roll of Honor, Violet Town Honour Roll, Violet Town St Dunstan's Honor Roll
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World War 1 Service

2 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, SN 1028, 13th Light Horse Regiment
27 Sep 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1028, 13th Light Horse Regiment
27 Sep 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1028, 13th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Hororata, Melbourne
8 May 1917: Honoured Distinguished Conduct Medal
16 Aug 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant

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MACKAY Albert Edgar 1028 LT
13th Light Horse Regiment

On 2 August 1915, seven months after his brother Gordon enlisted Albert Edgar MacKay 1028 joined up, aged 23 years and 7 months. He was appointed to the 13th Light Horse Regiment.  One month later aboard HMAT Hororata he was on his way to Egypt and thence to France, disembarking at Marseilles in July 1916.Next we read of him travelling north to Rouen.  He served on the Western Front from July 1916 to February 1918.

On 8 May 1917 L/CPL Mackay was awarded the DCM for ‘conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty. He located an enemy sniper’s position in a very daring manner and on his own initiative proceeded to crawl along the side of a bank for 150 yards shooting one and making the other prisoner.  This action was performed under heavy fire.’

On 16 August 1918, after training at No 4 Officer Cadet Btn at Oxford he was promoted to the rank of 2/LT and sent back to France. A report after the training school states that he was ‘rather too slapdash but full of energy and high spirits.  A very useful leader.’

His standard of education: Fair
Military knowledge: Goodish to Good
Special qualification: Riding

The following May he boarded the Soudan and returned to Australia. He was discharged on 29 June 1919.

He resumed civilian life as a farmer, married Margaret Georgina Faris in 1932 and was granted a Soldier Settlement Block at Shean’s Creek near Euroa. Here they ran a successful dairy farm, bred thoroughbred horses, were excellent riders and won trophies in Eventing and Jumping in Pairs.  After six years they moved to the family farm ‘Locheil’ on the Nalinga Road where they raised five children who attended the Violet Town State School. They moved to Hansonville, Warrenbayne and then finally to Oxley, enabling the children to complete their secondary education in Wangaratta. Margaret died in 1956 and Edgar lived with his sons Ivan and Don for a few years before moving to Sydney to live with his two sisters Lillian and Eileen.

Edgar was a good athlete and a good footballer. While serving overseas he represented the AIF against other Allied Forces. His daughter Claire remembers with pride, attending a football match in 1928 watching her father captaining the Euroa football team.

‘He returned from the war a changed man.  His sisters could not reconcile the good-natured, caring, fun-loving man with the martinet his children grew up with.  War seemed to have knocked the gentleness from him.’ This is how he is remembered yet with pride in a father who served his country well and carried on in civilian life with the same high standards.

In his declining years he was fairly robust, not having suffered any major health problems and was mentally alert.

Albert Edgar died on 27 January 1982 at the age of 90 after a fall when he broke an arm. He is buried at Tarcutta in a family plot.

Medals:   DCM     1914-15 Star   British War Medal     Victory Star

Honour Rolls: Main Honour Roll, Memorial Hall, Violet Town.
                         St Dunstan’s Anglican Church
                         Violet Town State School Honour Roll

Tree No 28 planted in 1917 by Mr Mackay

In 2013 a Ceratonia siliqua - Carob Tree - was planted by Diana Sommer, Beth and Trudy Stott


© 2016 Sheila Burnell