|1. Memorial:||Ors Communal Cemetery||A.5|
|2. Book:||The (1921) Masonic Roll of Honour 1914-1918||Pg.129|
|3. Memorial:||The (1940) Scroll - WW1 Roll of Honour||40C GQS|
Awards & Titles:
|Military Cross and Bar |
all of the 2nd Battalion Manchester Regiment (except where otherwise indicated) killed in action on the 4th November 1918 in attempting the crossing of the Oise - Sambre Canal just north of the village of Ors (except for Private William Wood who was killed in action on the 5th November 1918). Only through the heroism of Major Waters and Sapper Archibald of the 218th Field Company Royal Engineers, both awarded the Victoria Cross, was it possible to get a bridge across. The whole area was swept with shell and machine-gun fire and it seemed impossible for anyone to live on the bank of the canal. All the rest of the party were killed or disabled, yet these two gallant engineers carried on the work, while bullets splintered the wood they were holding and struck sparks from the wire binding the floats. Meanwhile 2nd Lieutenant Kirk in a splendid spirit of self-sacrifice, paddled across the canal on a raft and engaged the enemy with a Lewis gun. This gallant act cost him his life, but a bridge was erected and two platoons of his battalion succeeded in crossing. Unfortunately the bridge was almost immediately destroyed by shell fire, and although repeated attempts were made to repair it, the undertaking had to be abandoned, and the remainder of the battalion took shelter from the enemy?s fire behind the western bank of the canal until it received a message from the 1st Dorsetshire that it was possible to cross at Ors. Slightly nearer to Ors, the Engineers and the 16th Highland Light Infantry (Pioneers) succeeded in erecting a bridge of small cork rafts; before, however, the leading troops of the 16th Lancashire Fusiliers could cross, the bridge was broken by concentrated artillery and machine-gun fire. The officer commanding this battalion, Lt. Col. Marshall of the Irish Guards, took charge of the situation and organised parties of volunteers for the repair of the bridge; the first party were all soon killed or wounded, nevertheless the bridge was finally erected. Lt.- Col. Marshall stood on the bank while the work was being carried out, and then attempted to rush across at the head of his battalion; He was killed almost at once. Over 200 casualties had now been sustained in the effort to cross the canal, and it was clear that any further attempt to cross on the 96th Brigade front would only result in purposeless loss off life. The troops of the 14th Brigade east of the canal were, therefore ordered to stand fast until the 96th Brigade had succeeded in crossing by the bridges which had been erected by the 14th Brigade.
Family :Son of Mr. and Mrs. Angus McKenzie, of Seaforth, Stanley, Perthshire; husband of Margaret Gibbons McKenzie, of Oakbank Rd., Cherrybank, Perth.
- The First World War 1914-1918, World-wide.
|Unit :||2/Manchester Regiment|
|Action :||The Final Advance in Picardy|
17 October - 11 November 1918. The final stage of the British advance saw them cross the Selle and the Sambre rivers as the relentless pressure was kept on the retreating Germans. By the 11th November 1918 the British army had returned to Mons, where it all started for them back in August 1914 when it made its first contact with the Germans, and where the war stopped when the Armistice was declared on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
|Type||Lodge Name and No.||Province/District :|
|Mother :||Moore Keys No. 2519 E.C.||Jamaica & The Caymans|
The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:
- The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
- The (UK) National Archives
- Ancestry.co.uk - Genealogy, Family Trees & Family History online
- ugle.org.uk - The records of the United Grand Lodge of England including the Library and Museum of Freemasonry