|Date of Birth||July 23, 1891|
|Place of Birth||Brandon, Manitoba|
|Next of Kin||Lizzie MacKenzie, mother and William MacKenzie, father. Box 17, Kenora, Ontario|
|Trade / Calling||Accountant|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||12th Infantry Brigade|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Address at Enlistment||Box 17, Kenora, Ontario|
|Date of Enlistment||April 1, 1915|
|Age at Enlistment||23|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Decorations and Medals||Military Cross|
|Date of Death||October 23, 1946|
|Age at Death||55|
|Buried At||Lake of the Woods Cemetery, Kenora, Ontario|
Stormont (Monte) Green MacKenzie was one of three sons and two daughters of William and Lizzie MacKenzie of Kenora, Ontario. His parents were born in Scotland and immigrated separately to Canada in the 1880s, meeting and marrying in Brandon, Manitoba in 1889 where William worked as a dry goods store clerk.
Monte, born in 1891, was the middle of three boys in the family which also included William Jr. (1889), Harry Stuart (1893) and younger sisters Odette Henrietta (1894) and Honore Millicent (1898) who was born after the family moved to Kenora in the 1890s and William Sr. opened his own store there.
Monte and his brothers were educated in Kenora schools and were active members of the local sports scene, playing on church and community hockey teams and in their late teens and early 20s as members of the pre-war Kenora Thistles from 1910 to 1914. They competed in two Allan Cup championships while with the team. They were also members of the Kenora Athletic Club and accomplished oarsmen with the Kenora Rowing Club. Monte also played baseball and boxed. After finishing school Monte trained as an accountant.
Monte and his brother Harry both enlisted in the spring of 1915 as Kenora’s militia unit had been authorized to enlist 110 volunteers for overseas duty for the Manitoba Military District as part of Canada’s Third Contingent for overseas duty. Monte enlisted on April 1, 1915, joining his good friend Charles Hilliard, who’d enlisted in December 1914 when the initial call went out.
After training in Kenora and Port Arthur with troops that would form Northwestern Ontario’s 52nd Battalion, Monte transferred to the 78th battalion (Winnipeg Grenadiers) in August of 1915. It was authorized as an overseas battalion in July of that year under the command of Lt. Col. James Kirkcaldy. Monte signed a new set of attestation papers at Camp Sewell in Manitoba. He had served two years with the 78th’s militia unit, the 100th Regiment Winnipeg Grenadiers, while training to be an accountant in Winnipeg. He was commissioned as a Lieutenant with the 78th the following March 29.
Monte MacKenzie shipped overseas May 20, 1916 with the battalion aboard the SS Empress of Britain. The 78th arrived in France in August 1916, part of Canada’s 12th Brigade, 4th Division, and were in the front lines by the second week of September, taking their first casualties on September 13.
For most of his time in France MacKenzie served with the 12th Trench Mortar Battery, which provided support for the 78th Battalion and other infantry battalions in the 12th Brigade. He was made the battery’s commanding officer in 1918.
Major battles for the battalion and brigade included the Battle of the Somme (fall 1916); Arras, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele (1917); Amiens, Drocourt-Queant (where he earned an MC), and Canal du Nord in 1918.
Monte Mackenzie did not take part in all the campaigns as he was hospitalized for extended periods in 1917. A letter from Walter Goswell dated April 4, 1917 and published in the Kenora newspaper May 5, 1917 spoke of meeting Monty at a base earlier the month before and his being ‘fat as a seal’ and enroute to return to his unit after recuperating from shell shock. His return to the front was brief, as a May 5, 1917 newspaper report said he was at No. 4 Canadian General Hospital in Nottingham, recovering from being gassed in March, although he had stayed with his unit in the field until April. A May 19 article noted he was improving in hospital.
Monte Mackenzie won the Military Cross for action in the field on September 2, 1918, while commanding the 12th Light Trench Mortar Battery as an Acting Captain, providing support fire for the 78th and other battalions in the brigade during the Drocourt-Queant attack.
Monte returned home in June 1919 and settled in Winnipeg where he married and worked for Drewry’s Limited, the well known Western Canadian brewing company. He continued his active involvement in athletics, belonging to the Kenora Curling Club and the Thistle Club in Winnipeg. He was also with the Thunder Bay Amateur Association, Kenora Anglers and Hunters Club, Tourist Outfitters and Rowing Club. In 1935 he returned to Kenora and operated MacKenzie Lodge on Pine Portage Bay, which he operated until 1941 when he returned to Winnipeg. Monte died suddenly on October 23, 1946 at Misericordia Hospital in Winnipeg. He and his wife Beatrice had no children. He was interred in the family plot at Lake of the Woods Cemetery. Beatrice later married WW1 veteran Charles McGimsie and died 1989 in Vancouver.
by Bob Stewart