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NORTH SHIELDS

Mackay, J., Cpl., 1918
Medal Index Card for Corporal Mackay

Medal Index Card for Corporal Mackay

CWGC Headstone at Crucifix Corner Cemetery

CWGC Headstone at Crucifix Corner Cemetery

The King's Shropshire Light Infantry Museum

The King's Shropshire Light Infantry Museum

At Crucifix Corner Cemetery, Villers-Bretonneux is the Commonwealth War Grave of 204436 Corporal John Mackay, serving with the 7th Battalion, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment, who died 24/04/1918.

John Mackay was born at 11 Bird Street, North Shields in 1883, one of seven children to Robert Mackay, [Fisherman, born 1831, Scotland], with his wife Elizabeth, [born 1840], 2 children died very young. The eldest daughter was Elizabeth, born 1877, then Margaret born 1878, Jane Alice, born 1881, then John born 1883.

In 1901 they were residing at 31 and 32 Bird Street, with a grandson named William Thomas Paul, only aged two.

John was educated at North Shields and was a despatcher in the 'Shields Daily Gazette' for over twenty years. He was a member of the South Shields Harriers Athletic Club, and was well known in athletic circles.

By 1911 the family had moved to 32 Bird Street, North Shields, but no longer with the grand-son. Only John and his sister Elizabeth Mackay were residing at this address with their parents, now aged 82 and 71 respectively.

John enlisted on the 5th October 1916 at Newcastle, under the Derby Scheme, and was originally posted to the 3/4th Battalion, then transferred to the 10th Battalion before finally being posted to the 7th Battalion, Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment with the service number 204436, and the rank of Corporal.

This battalion was part of the 53 Infantry Brigade, 18th Infantry Division.

He had originally been in the K.O.S.L.I., with a service number of 5839.

Shields Daily News 04/06/1918.

News of local men. Killed and Wounded in Action. CORPORAL MACKAY MISSING. Mrs Mackay of 32 Bird Street, North Shields, has received official news that her son, Corporal J Mackay, Machine Gunner of the Royal West Kent Regiment, is missing. Previous to joining up he was in the despatch department of the Shields "Daily Gazette" for 20 years. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Shields Daily News 11/11/1918.

"News of local men. CORPORAL JOHN MACKAY KILLED. Official intimation has been received by Mrs E. Mackay, of 32 Bird Street, North Shields, that her son, Corporal John Mackay, Royal West Kents, was killed in action on April 24th, 1918. He had previously been reported missing. Corpl. Mackay, who was 35 years of age, was on the staff of the "Shields Daily News," and for 20 years was employed in the dispatch department. he was well known in local athletic circles, and took a keen interest in the South Shields Harriers. Corporal Mackay joined up on Oct. 5th, 1916".

Shields Daily News 13/11/1918. Deaths.

"MACKAY - Killed in action April 24th 1918, Corporal John Mackay, Royal West Kents, in his 35th year, dearly beloved son of Elizabeth and the late Robert Mackay, of 32 Bird Street, North Shields - Deeply mourned by his loving mother, brothers and sisters."

He was killed on Wednesday 24th April 1918, [however research shows that he was originally listed as missing], while his battalion was counter attacking the Germans. He is amongst 218 casualties suffered by this Battalion between the period 24th April to the 26th April. 14 Killed, 85 Wounded, and 129 missing.

His mother received a Gratuity of 22 16s on the 16th July 1919 from the Army as a result of John's Army Pay.

He is remembered at North Shields at N34.18 and at Tynemouth in the Tynemouth Roll of Honour T36.14 page 17

The Shropshire Light Infantry Museum.
5 Brave men
Royal Kent Regiment in WW1
Kent Fallen
The CWGC entry for Corporal Mackay

If you know more about this person, please send the details to janet@newmp.org.uk