MACKIE, Robert Charles
(Service number 6/499)
|First Rank||Corporal||Last Rank||Private|
|Date||31 January 1887||Place of Birth||Edinburgh, Scotland|
|Date||12 August 1914||Age||27 years 7 months|
|Address at Enlistment||Care of Campbell, Stafford Street, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience||Glasgow R. E. Volunteers (4½ years service).|
|Next of Kin||James MACKIE, Main Street, Strathpinness, Fifeshire, Scotland|
|Medical Information||Height 5 feet 7½ inches. Weight 138 lbs. Chest measurement 32½-35 inches. Complexion dark. Eyes blue. Hair brown. Sight and hearing both good. Colour vision normal. Limbs and chest well formed. Full and perfect movement of all joints. Heart and lungs normal. Teeth fair. Free from hernia, varicocele, varicose veins, haemorrhoids, inveterate or contagious skin disease. Vaccinated. Good bodily and mental health. No defects. False teeth upper jaw - well fitting.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||Main Body|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||Canterbury Infantry Battalion|
|Date||16 October 1914|
|Transport||Tahiti or Athenic|
|Embarked From||Lyttelton, Canterbury||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With||Canterbury Infantry Battalion|
|Campaigns||Egyptian; Balkan (Gallipoli)|
|Service Medals||1914-15 Star; British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||25 April 1915||Age||28 years|
|Place of Death||Dardanelles, Turkey|
|Cause||Killed in action|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Lone Pine Memorial, Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac, Turkey|
|Memorial Reference||Panel 75|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Robert Charles Mackie was born on 31 January 1887 in Edinburgh, Scotland, the son of James and Marion (née Smith) Mackie, of Scotland. His mother died in 1898. In the 1891 and 1901 census returns Robert was a scholar, then a clerk, at home with his family at Cathcart, Renfrewshire, Scotland.
Prior to coming to New Zealand only about two years before enlisting, he had served for more than four years in the Glasgow Volunteers. He enlisted very soon after the outbreak of war with the Canterbury Battalion on 12 August 1914 in Timaru, New Zealand, one of the earliest volunteers. He enrolled and passed the medical examination in a very lively and busy Drill Shed; he was not one of those rejected because they were over or under-age, insufficiently developed, had no experience, or were overweight (the regulation weight was 12 stone). At the time he was working as a mechanic for A & T Burt in Dunedin. He had also been employed by Mr J. Docherty in Dunedin. Twenty-seven years seven months old, single and Presbyterian, he gave an address Care of Campbell, Stafford Street, Timaru. He was 5 feet 7½ inches tall, weighed 138 pounds, and had a chest measurement of 32½-35 inches. He had a dark complexion, blue eyes and brown hair. His sight and hearing were both good; his colour vision, heart and lungs all normal; and his limbs and chest well formed. His teeth, however, were only fair, but his upper false teeth were well fitting. Free of diseases and vaccinated, he was in good bodily and mental health.
He was one of several infantry men in B Company (Second South Canterbury Regiment), under Captain D. Grant, who left Timaru in mid-August 1914 for the central camp at Christchurch. The South Canterbury Infantry, which included R. Mackie, arrived in camp on the night of 17 August and quickly settled down in the quarters prepared for them. On the night of 24 August all leave was stopped at the camp. On the morning of 25 August, the infantry paraded, and company and platoon rolls were made out. As the infantry was complete, detailed work was being pushed ahead, pointing to an imminent departure.
Corporal R.C. Mackie embarked as a corporal with the Main Body at Lyttelton on 16 October 1914, with the Timaru men, to reach Alexandria on 3 December. On 25 August 1914 at camp, he had been promoted to corporal of No. 8 Platoon, but on 4 January 1915, at his own request, he reverted to the rank of private. The next news of Robert was in the 31st casualty list which was received in Timaru on 23 May 1915; Robert had been killed in action on 25 April 1915 in the Battle of Anzac Cove. He had died six months after leaving New Zealand’s shores, just 28 years old.
His next-of-kin was his brother James Mackie who resided at Main Street, Strathkinness, Fifeshire, Scotland. Another brother, William Charles Mackie, was residing at Portland Cottage, Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland, and was Robert's legal next-of-kin. In the briefest of Wills (short form, drawn up on 12 October 1914 at Timaru) Robert left all to Mrs Agnes Blenkiren who was residing at 6 Beach Avenue, Whitley Bay, Northumberland, England. Agnes was a sister of Robert. His medals – 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal - were sent to this sister on 6 January 1922. The plaque and scroll were sent to his brother William on 9 December 1921.
In his two short years in New Zealand, largely spent in Dunedin, Robert had made his mark in local football. He played in the half-back line for the Mornington Wednesday Association Football Club. He was chosen to represent the Otago Wednesday Association in its representative team but unfortunately, because he had enlisted, he was unable to travel to Invercargill. Another young man residing far from his homeland and meeting his death in the service of King and country. Having no known grave, Robert is remembered on the Lone Pine Memorial on the Gallipoli peninsula.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [19 November 2013]; CWGC [19 November 2013]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref. AABK 18805 W5544 0070799) [20 November 2013]; Timaru Herald, 13 & 18 August 1914, 24 May 1915, Press, 21, 26 & 28 August 1914, 15 June 1915, Lyttelton Times, 26 August 2022, Otago Daily Times, 24 May 1915, 11 & 14 June 1915, Dominion, 24 May 1915, Evening Post, 24 May 1915, Star, 24 May 1915, Oamaru Mail, 26 May 1915, North Otago Times, 26 May 1915, Evening Star, 14 June 1915, Press, 15 June 1915 (Papers Past) [18, 19 & 29 November 2013; 07 & 19 March 2015; 05 & 06 May 2022]; 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 census records for family (ancestry.com.au) [21 November 2013, 01 December 2013]; Probate record (Archives NZ - Family Search) 
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