Private John McKenzie

Private John Gordon McKenzie, 1st/4th ( Border ) Battalion, Kings Own Scottish Borderers. He was killed in action at Gallipoli, aged 19, on the 12th July 1915 during the ” Charge” on the Turkish Trenches at Achi Baba Nullah. He had been born in Ramshope, Bellingham, Northumberland and was the son of John and Hannah McKenzie of Queen Street and 17 Castlegate, Jedburgh. He is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Helles, Gallipoli, Turkey. He had enlisted with his brother Job McKenzie and had landed with the rest of the 52nd ( Lowland ) Division in June 1915. 12th July became known as the ” Black Day of the Borders” as out of the over 700 Officers and Men who had begun the assault only 70 unwounded Men answered evening Roll Call. Few Border towns and villages had not lost at least one of their sons that fateful day. ( The author’s Great Uncle Jim Murray from Coldstream was wounded and spent six weeks in hospital in Alexandria before returning to his comrades on Gallipoli ). The first photo shows Achi Baba which was the ultimate objective of the attack. This “hill” dominated the battlefield and was never captured. the second shows the Borderers ” going over the top” at Gallipoli. ( The photo of Private McKenzie is courtesy of J. D. Smith).

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