Sinclair Hugh Mackenzie was the second son of John and Henrietta Mackenzie, “Woodlands,” Lairg, Sutherland. He was married to Maggie Jesse nee Macdonald from Innistillich, Glenurquhart and lived at Corrykinloch near Lairg. The Duke of Sutherland employed Sinclair alongside his father, at Corrykinloch and Dunrobin Castle as gamekeepers. In 1911 Census Sinclair is listed as head of household along with his widowed mother, brother James and sister Helen.
At the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, Sinclair was called up by his unit the 1 Battalion, Lovat Scouts, Highland Mounted Brigade. In September 1915 he sailed with his battalion to Gallipoli, landing at Suvla Bay on the night of the 26 and 27of September. (See also Lance Corporal Donald Mackay, Melness.)
At the beginning of October the Lovat Scouts were moved forward into the front line trenches, two hundred yards from the Turks. The Scouts now began to attack the enemy, patrolling at night and launching sniper attacks during the day, the men from the Highlands using all their deadly stalking skills to kill their enemies.
Conditions in Gallipoli were horrendous; there was always a lack of water due to the terrible re-supply system. The whole beachhead was under constant Turkish observation, shells raining down on to the beaches day and night as the Turkish infantry launched fanatical frontal attacks on the British lines.
Private Sinclair Mackenzie was severely wounded at Suvla Bay and taken by stretcher- bearer to the field hospital. He was evacuated from the field hospital to a hospital ship, where he died from his wounds and was buried at sea on the 27 of October 1915, aged thirty- five years.
He was the first member of the Mackenzie from Lairg to be killed in the war, the stories of the other family members James, Joseph and Isabella . There is a headstone in Melness cemetery that bears the name of Sinclair Hugh Mackenzie, erected by his family in 1916. He was survived by his wife Jessie, who had moved to live at Number 1 Dunedin Street in Edinburgh and gave birth to a baby on 5 of March 1916.
SCOTTISH NATIONAL WAR MEMORIAL EDINBURGH CASTLE 5179 Private Sinclair H Mackenzie. Died of wounds at sea. 27-10-15.
COMMONWEALTH WAR GRAVES COMMISSION Mackenzie Private, Sinclair H 5179. Lovats Scouts 27 October 1915. Husband of Margaret Jessie Mackenzie 1,Dunedin Street, Edinburgh.
Private Sinclair Hugh Mackenzie 1 Battalion, Lovat Scouts, has no known grave and is remembered on the HELLES MEMORIAL, GALLIPOLI PENINSULA, TURKEY. His name appears on both Melness and Lairg War Memorials.
E Squadron Lovat Scouts
L/Cpl Mackenzie Back row 7th from the Left