Lieutenant Hugh McKenzie VC DCM

The London Gazette of 13 Feb 1918 published this citation: For most conspicuous bravery and leading when in charge of a section of four machine-guns accompanying the PPCLI in their attack on the Meetcheele Ridge, Passchendaele, on the morning of 30 Oct 1917.

Seeing that all the officers and most of the NCOs of an infantry company had become casualties, and that the men were hesitating before a nest of enemy machine-guns which were on commanding ground and causing them severe casualties, he handed over command of his guns to an NCO, rallied the infantry, organised an attack and captured the strong point.

Finding that the position was swept by machine-gun fire from a pill-box which dominated all the ground over which the troops were advancing, Lt MacKenzie made a recce and detailed flanking and frontal attacking parties which captured the pill-box, he himself being killed while leading the frontal attack.'By his valour and leadership this gallant officer ensured the capture of these strong points and so saved the lives of many men, and enabled the objectives to be obtained.

Hugh McKenzie was born on 5 Dec 1885 in Inverness. He joined the PPCLI as a private soldier in August 1914, rose to the rank of sergeant and was commissioned on 28 Jan 1917. He was then seconded to 7th Brigade Machine-Gun Company. In this photo he wear the badges of the Machine-Gun Regiment. As well as the Victoria Cross and the Distinguished Conduct Medal he was awarded the Croix de Guerre. His name is inscribed on the memorial at Menin Gate, Belgium.

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by Stephen Luscombe