The First War Memorial Cross to Doctor Walter W. McKenzie CEF 1917
The First War Memorial Cross to Doctor Walter W. McKenzie CEF 1917- British War Medal (CAPT. W.W. MC KENZIE.); and Canadian Memorial Cross, George V (CAPT. W.W. MACKENZIE), in Case of Issue. Naming is officially impressed on the BMW and officially engraved on the Cross but with an "A" added between the "M" and "C". Un-mounted, dark patinas, very fine. Case exhibits surface wear, fine. Accompanied by his monogrammed American-made pocket watch (engraved with the initials "WWM", maker marked "WALTHAM" on watch face and suspension ring, 50 mm x 70 mm), along with copies of his Index Cards, Attestation Paper, Officers' Declaration Paper, Service Records and Medical Records. Footnote: Walter Wake McKenzie was born in Point Edward (near Sarnia), Ontario on April 28, 1891, the son of Thomas McKenzie and Alice McKenzie. He signed his Attestation Paper with the 83rd Infantry Battalion (Queen's Own Rifles) on September 8, 1915, at Niagara Camp, enlisting with the 83rd Infantry Battalion, naming his next-of-kin as his mother, Mrs. Thomas (Alice) McKenzie of Toronto, Ontario, stating that he has no previous military service, that he was not married and that his trade was that of Physician. The following Spring he signed his Officers' Declaration Paper on April 1, 1916 at Riverdale Barracks in Toronto, stating similar information. The Battalion was raised and mobilized in Toronto, Ontario under the authority of G.O. 103A, August 15, 1915, sailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard the S.S. Olympic, on April 28, 1916 with a strength of 35 officers and 1,081 other ranks under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel R. Pellant. He disembarked at Liverpool on May 7, 1916, the Battalion itself being absorbed into the 12th Reserve Battalion on July 18th. He had been experiencing fainting spells while in England and was admitted to Helena Hospital Shorncliffe on September 6th with "Syncopal attacks". In his Medical Case Sheet, dated September 6th upon his admission to Helena Hospital, it was noted that "This officer admitted to Hospital in fainting attack, the exact cause of which is no known. History shows one other attack under very similar circumstances 4 months ago. This attack came on after rising from dinner following a heavy meal." He would remain in hospital for eleven days before being discharged on the 16th. McKenzie was declared fit for service, returning to the 12th Reserve Battalion before being transferred to the Canadian Army Medical Corps Training School at Cheriton on October 10, 1916. Seven weeks later, he was re-admitted to the Helena Officers' Hospital on November 28th with "Tonsilitis", hospitalized for fourteen days, then transferred on December 12th to Westcliffe Canadian Eye and Ear Hospital at Folkestone, where he was to continue his recuperation for the next nine days, before being discharged on the 20th. His health began deteriorating in the new year, with McKenzie being re-admitted to Helena Officers' Hospital for Officers at Shorncliffe on February 17, 1917 "Seriously Ill". He was becoming epileptic and died two days later of Cerebro-Spinal Meningitis on February 19th, at the age of 25. His mother, Alice, received his British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross, while his father, Thomas, received his Memorial Plaque and Scroll. His pocket watch was also returned to his parents.