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Discover the stories and remember the lives of UCC
Old Boys who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the Great War.

Lieutenant George Lawrence Bisset MacKenzie ’09

Died: June 7, 1916

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Lieut. G. L. B. Mackenzie, killed in action June 7th, 19 16, was the only son of Mr. George A. Mackenzie, formerly of the legal firm of Mackenzie, Jones & Leonard, Toronto. He was a member of the Q.O.R., and volunteered at once for active service when war broke out. On account of short sight he was at first rejected in Toronto and afterwards at Valcartier, but at last secured an appointment early in 1915 in the 12th York Rangers. In June 19 15, he went to England with a draft, and in Oct., 1915, joined the 3rd Batt. at the front. He was twenty-four at the time of his death. A letter from a Sergeant states that Lieut. Mackenzie was shot through the heart by a sniper on his way back from Headquarters, after reporting the results of a successful reconnaissance which they had just carried out.

His Major stated that he had previously on his own initiative, effected several daring and very valuable reconnaissance’s over unknown ground—” There was never,” he adds, “an unpleasant or dangerous bit of work that he was not more than ready to undertake.”

George Mackenzie was born Jan. 4th, 1892, at Uplands, Deer Park, Toronto, and entered Upper Canada College, 1902. In 1906 he went to Europe and spent two years partly there and partly on the Continent, returning to U.C.C. in 1908. His career was a brilliant one, both at school and afterwards at Toronto University, where he took his degree in 1912. Amongst other successes he obtained the Governor-General’s Silver Medal for highest standing in all subjects in 1911, and in 1912 the prize offered by All Soul’s College, Oxford, for an essay on “Bolingbroke and the Reign of Queen Anne.” On leaving the University he commenced to study law.

From a letter to the Globe, recalling a speech made by Lieut. Mackenzie shortly before he sailed, we may quote the following words :

‘ He was no Knight-errant, seeking adventure for its own sake ; but he had a knightly spirit, chivalrous and self-sacrificing, and he earned that night more than mere applause.”

One or two extracts from his letters are quoted in another part of the Times.

College Times (Summer 1916) pg. 8-9

 

More information about Lieutenant George Lawrence Bisset MacKenzie ’09 can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1918

University of Toronto Roll of Service 1914-1918

Upper Canada College Old Boys Who Served in The Queen’s Own Rifles Canada

Canadian Virtual War Memorial

The Law Society of Upper Canada

Canadian Great War Project

Canada At War

Toronto Public Library (The Canadian Experience of the Great War: A Guide to Memoirs)

Commonwealth War Graves Commission