John Cameron Mackenzie was born in Tongue in 1895 the youngest son of John and Mary Mackay of “Lubinvullin”, Talmine, Lairg, Sutherlandshire. He was employed in Melness as a joiner, until he enlisted into the Royal Engineers at the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
The Royal Engineers were involved in the construction of the front line trenches in France and the building of dug outs for the troops to shelter in. Sappers from the Royal Engineers also laid barbed wire in no mans land, dug tunnels so that mines could be laid under the German trenches and exploded.
Behind the front the Royal Engineers repaired roads, buildings and were responsible for the maintenance of the camps and billets used by the front line units who came out of the line for a rest. The Field units were also required to help with the movement of stores and equipment from the UK, which arrived in the French docks and then on to the front by train.
Sapper John Mackenzie was killed in action close to the Belgian/ French Border on the 12 of November 1915; he was twenty years old. He had three brothers who also served in the war; John Angus and George served in the Scots Guards and Hugh in the Army Service Corps. John Angus was killed in action and his story appears on this website, the two other brothers returned home to Melness.
SCOTTISH NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL EDINBURGH CASTLE Mackenzie J.C. (b) Tongue Sutherlandshire. Sapper 65486. Killed in Action 12-11-15. 126 Field Company Royal Engineers. F&F.
COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION Mackenzie. Sapper. John Cameron. 65486. 126 Field Company Royal Engineers. 12 November 1915. Age 20. Son of John and Mary Mackenzie of “Lubinvullin” Talmine, Lairg, Sutherland. Plot A. Grave 1.
Sapper John Cameron Mackenzie 65486, 126 Field Company Royal Engineers is buried in War Grave at LE BIZET CEMETERY, ARMENTIERIES, FRANCE.