A commemorative paving stone is to be unveiled in memory of a Liverpool-born soldier who was awarded the Victoria Cross during World War One whilst serving with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry Regiment (PPCLI).
The Commemorative Paving Stone scheme is to mark the First World War centenary commemorations, and honour men awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) during the conflict. There were 175 VC winners in total from 11 different countries, including 70 from Canada, which has the highest number of overseas recipients.
On Monday 30 October, a Victoria Cross paving stone will be laid in honour of Lieutenant Hugh McDonald McKenzie (1885 – 1917), who was killed in action on 30 October 1917 at Meetscheele Spur, near Passchendaele, Belgium.
He was born at 62 Hunter Street in Liverpool on 5 December 1885, the second son of Jane McDonald McKenzie and James McKenzie. The family moved from Liverpool to Inverness in 1887, following the death of his father who was in the Merchant Navy working as an engineer and was lost at sea. They then moved to Dundee where Hugh worked as a carter for Watson & Sons, Seagate and the Caledonian Railway Company.
Hugh emigrated to Canada in 1912, living with his wife Marjorie, in North Bay, Ontario. In August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, he volunteered for the Canadian Expeditionary Force and enlisted in the newly formed PPCLI.
The action for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross, and which killed him, took place on 30 October 1917. He received his VC award posthumously on 13 February 1918.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, said: “Hugh McKenzie was a courageous soldier whose selfless actions saved many lives. He was completely devoted to his duty and Liverpool is incredibly proud of him and this is why the city is honouring him with this fitting ceremony. I am personally privileged to be able to attend and unveil this stone in his honour.
“The stone will be a permanent reminder of the incredible contribution that he made to the war effort and his role in making sure that more soldiers weren’t lost.”