Mackenzie was born in Lairg, eldest son of John and Henrietta Mackenzie of
“Woodlands”, Lairg, Sutherland. He emigrated to New Zealand with his two
brothers Donald and James; they lived and worked in the Waikaito district of
He enlisted alongside his brothers into the
New Zealand Armed Forces at the outbreak of the war, joining the local district
Regiment, the 2 Battalion, Auckland “Waikaito” Regiment.
The 2 Auckland Regiment fought
at Gallipoli in 1915, landing on the beaches and entering into the heavy
fighting against the fierce Turkish Army. The New Zealanders took heavy
casualties as they made repeated frontal attacks on the Turkish lines, trying
in vain to break through.
1915, the 2 Auckland Regiment was withdrawn from A.N.Z.A.C. Cove,
Gallipoli to Lemnos Island in Greece, then via Egypt they arrived in France.
The New Zealand Division took part in the great offensive on the Somme,
which the British Generals hoped would end the war.
On the 7 of June 1917, the 2
Auckland Regiment fought at Messines Ridge to the South of Ypres, then becoming
involved in the Third Battle of Ypres in October. On the 4 of
October, the ANZAC’s attacked the village of Broodseide along side the 3
the 28 of March 1918, the New Zealand Division helped to stem the
German attacks on Arras, as the enemy launched its final assaults of the war.
In April, they fought on the old Somme Battlefield near the river Ancre close
to Beaumont Hamel as the British Army with its back to the wall, fought to hold
the massive German attacks that were taking place.
The British Army launched a counter-attack
over the old Somme battlefields on the 21st of August 1918, which proved to be
the beginning of the end for the German Forces on the Western Front. The
Germans could sustain heavy losses no longer and were forced to retreat; the
Allies now pressed home the attack sweeping the enemy before them.
Private Joseph Mackenzie was killed in
action on the 1 of September 1918, aged thirty-six, as his
Battalion attacked the German held village of Bancourt to the East of Bapaume. He
was the third son from the Mackenzie family to be killed in the First World
War, his sister Isabella also died, his brother Donald was seriously wounded,
SCOTTISH NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL EDINBURGH CASTLE
Mackenzie Joseph . 57108. Private.
(b) Sutherland. Killed in Action
Zealand Expeditionary Force.
COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION
Private Joseph. 57108. 2
Battalion Auckland Regiment. N.Z.E.F.
in Action 1 September 1918. Age 36. Son of John and Henrietta
Mackenzie of Woodlands, Lairg, Sutherland. Plot 1. Row B. Grave 8.
Joseph Mackenzie 57108, 2 Battalion Auckland Regiment is buried in
a war grave at BANCOURT BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE. His name appears on both
Melness and Lairg War Memorials.