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  • Christina Drummond

Private James MacKenzie V.C., 2nd Battalion, the Scots Guards

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1914, Private James MacKenzie V.C., 2nd Battalion, Scots Guards, was killed at Rouges Bancs on the Western Front.

One of seven children of a stonemason, he was educated at Maxwelltown School and later was employed as a farm worker and as a joiner. He enlisted in the army in February of 1912, and went with his battalion to France on the 7th of October, 1914.

Early on the day of his death he had successfully brought back a severely wounded soldier from the front line after a stretcher party had been forced to abandon their efforts. For what was termed “conspicuous bravery” shown in this rescue, he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Sadly he was shot and killed later that day while attempting, under heavy fire, to bring another wounded soldier to safety. His body was not recorded as having been recovered following the fighting, so he has no known grave - he is commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial to the Missing in Berks Cemetery Extension near Ploegsteert in Hainaut, Belgium.

James, from New Abbey, Dumfries, was 29 years old.

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