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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 James MacKenzie ’13

Died: May 16, 1915

It is barely a year ago since Jim Mackenzie left us to enter upon his opening life’s career. Amiable, self-reliant, and rather reserved, he took with him the respect and good wishes of all who knew him here: he left behind a reputation for much more than average ability, for straightness and honourable conduct.

When the great war broke out, he was among the first to offer his services in defense of right against might, of our country against her foes, and of the lives and safety of helpless women and children against their brutal assailants. It was but a short time after his departure before the letter came that announced his appointment to a commission in the Scots Guards. It is but a fortnight ago since we learned the news of his death upon the field of battle.

A cable message from a brother officer reads: ” Mackenzie killed in action. That he died like a man it is needless to say, but proof is evident from position he was found in, with some of his men and revolver still in his hand. Grave is marked.”

The War Office notification to his family says: “Found killed at the head of his men and buried.” On the 4th June a memorial service was held in London, at which the XXIII Psalm, and the hymn, “For all the saints who from their labours rest,” were sung, and the band of pipers of the Scots Guards played “Flowers of the forest.”

The King and Queen have sent a message of loving sympathy to the parents that are left to mourn the loss of their loved one. But in all their sorrow they have one true consolation, the proud knowledge that their dear boy died like a hero. In a letter written to his father at the time of his joining his regiment, he “hoped to be a credit to his parents and to U.C.C.” The hope is fulfilled—alas! Too soon. We mourn his loss, the untimely end of such brilliant promise: we envy his glorious death. He did the utmost that it is granted mortal man to do : he gave his own life to save the weak and oppressed.

College Times (Summer 1915) pg. 15-16

More information about Lieutenant James MacKenzie ’13 can be found at:

Upper Canada College Roll of Service 1914-1919

King’s College Review, June 1915

Scottish War Memorials Project
(Note: Lieutenant James MacKenzie’s great-grandfather, also James MacKenzie, was Lord Provost of Glasgow from 1804 to 1806.)