Rfn
Athol Everson Cuff McKenzie

Information about birth

Date of birth:
06/02/1894
Place of birth:
Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand

General information

Profession:
Cheese Manufacturer

Army information

Country:
New Zealand
Force:
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Rank:
Rifleman
Service number:
26145
Enlistment date:
29/05/1916
Enlistment place:
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
Units:
 —  New Zealand Rifle Brigade, 4th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
07/06/1917
Place of death:
Mesen, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
23

Memorial

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

Athol Everson Cuff McKenzie lives and workes at the Dalefield Cheese Factory in Carterton, New Zealand before the War. His brothers Malcolm, Douglas and Kenneth McKenzie serve in the Australian Army. Athol enlists in New Zealand in May 1916.

On June 7th of 1917 Athol’s battalion takes part in the Battle of Messines. The German resistance was fierce, but the New Zealand Rifle Brigade managed to reach its objective on the eastern outskirts of Mesen. While consolidating their positions, the Germans counterattacked with artillery, causing several casualties.

Athol is only 23 years old when he is killed. He is buried south-east of Mesen, at Bethleem Farm. When his brother Malcolm is in the area in February 1918, he erects a memorial cross. The cross was found after the war but Athol's body was never identified. Athol McKenzie is commemorated on Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial, panel 37.

Athol’s brothers survive the War. The museum holds an original map and an aerial photograph of Malcolm, on which the locations of the grave and cross are noted.

Connection to other soldiers 3

Malcolm Hayward Cuff McKenzie
Brother
Douglas Harold Cuff McKenzie
Brother
Kenneth Hugh Cuff McKenzie
Brother

Files 5

Newspaper Article View

Sources 4

Auckland Weekly News, 6.09.1917, p. 41.
Sources used
Austin, W.S. The Official History of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade (The Earl of Liverpool's Own). East-Sussex: The Naval & Military Press Ltd., 2007. 193-209.
Sources used
Mangaweka Notes, Rangitikei Advocate and Manawatu Argus, XLI, nr. 11283, 28.06.1917.
Sources used
Photo of the McKenzie brothers (Discovering Anzacs).
https://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/gallery/159620
Sources used

More information 4

The NZEF Project (UNSW Canberra)
https://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=169397
Commonwealth War Graves Commission Database
https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/1738068
Online Cenotaph (Auckland Museum)
https://www.aucklandmuseum.com/war-memorial/online-cenotaph/record/C9750
Lives of the First World War (Imperial War Museum)
https://livesofthefirstworldwar.iwm.org.uk/lifestory/7178950