Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Neil Mackay, Rogart, NZEF

Neil Mackay was born in Rogart, 14th July 1887, son of Duncan Mackay, lotter, and Ann Mackay.  He was killed in action 3rd December 1917 France – Private in New Zealand European Forces – in the 1891 and 1901 censuses he was with widowed mother, scholar.

“Intimation has been received by Mrs. Mackay, Cragganar, that her youngest son, Neil, has made the supreme sacrifice in the cause of freedom and righteousness. He was killed on 3rd December while taking part in an attack by the New Zealand troops on the enemy trenches. Private Neil Mackay was 29 years of age. He was educated at the Rogart Public School under the present headmaster and was a general favourite with his school companions. He served a short period in the Post Office as one of the rural postmen and was esteemed by all he came in contact. He was of a modest and retiring disposition. Eight years ago he went out to New Zealand where he was employed in ranch and farm work and was getting on well. When the call came to arms he responded at once. Landing at the Dardanelles he went through that trying campaign thereafter spending some time on Salisbury Plain prior to proceeding to France. He possessed a kindly heart and never forgot the old home in Scotland which he visited on furlough early in October. He will be sadly missed and the deepest sympathy of the community goes out to the widowed mother and other members of the family in their bereavement” (NT 17/1/1918).  - ''Your son has done very valuable work as a runner, carrying back several important messages under heavy fire from his Co. Commander to me, and had he lived I would certainly have recommended him for an honour. Had he been spared I am sure he would have risen high in the service of his King and country. He was always very cheery and willing and was a most valuable man to his Company Headquarters '' ( letter received by his mother from The Lieut. Col. of the Battalion).
Neil is listed on the Rogart War Memorial.  See also our New Zealand page.

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