Mackenzie, Colin Roy


Second son of Alexander Linton and Marion Mackenzie of Bath. His elder brother, John Mitchell Douglas Mackenzie, also came to Winchester (I 1903-1906). Colin entered the school from Mr. Radcliffe’s school at East Grinstead. He was appointed a Commoner Prefect in 1909 and was a member of Sixth Book; he also shot for two years in Wimbledon VIII and played in O.T.H. XV. Mackenzie went on to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1910, and obtained his BA in 1913, whereupon he moved to St. Thomas’ Hospital in London.

In 1914 he was a volunteer medical probationer in the RN Medical Service with HMS Spitfire (a destroyer), a role which he performed for ten months. However, in 1915 he transferred to the RNAS. He trained as a pilot at the Royal Naval Flying School at Eastchurch on the Isle of Sheppey, gaining his pilot’s certificate (no. 1571) on a Caudron biplane on August 2nd 1915 and being commissioned as a Flight Sub-Lieutenant in the RNAS.

He was awarded the D.S.O. “in recognition of his skill and gallantry in destroying a German kite balloon on 7th September under very severe anti-aircraft fire” and the Croix de Guerre, and was twice mentioned in Despatches.

By January 1917 Mackenzie was flying a Sopwith Pup aircraft with the confusingly titled ‘RNAS Squadron on detachment to the RFC’. This was re-named 8 Squadron RNAS in February 1917. Whatever the official title, Mackenzie commanded ‘A’ Flight. He was killed at Bihucourt, near Bapaume, on January 24th 1917 while flying a Sopwith Pup. His aircraft was probably shot down by Leutnant Hans von Keudell of Jasta 1. It was Keudell’s eleventh victory, but he was himself shot down and killed on February 15th.

Admiral Sir Reginald Bacon wrote of him: “Mackenzie was one of the best organisers, and was always cheerful and bright. He left a lasting monument behind him in the form of a short essay of advice to young pilots.” A full account of how he won his D.S.O. can be read in “The Dover Patrol 1915-1917” by Admiral Sir Reginald Bacon. He concluded his chapter on the RNAS in his book with a poem about Mackenzie, the link to which is here: http://combatace.com/topic/76395-the-strafe-of-the-kite-balloon/ Files concerning his career are available in the National Archives as file AIR 1/686/21/13/2249.

Mackenzie Pot, an inter-house shooting cup, was presented to the school in 1919 and was last awarded in 1970. It bears the inscription: Presented to Winchester College OTC in Memory of Flight Commander Colin Roy Mackenzie RN-RNAS DSO, Croix de Guerre and other old members of the Bisley Teams who fell 1914-1918

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Mackenzie
  • Forenames or initials: Colin Roy
  • House: I
  • Years in School: 1905-1910
  • Rank: Flight Commander
  • Regiment: Royal Naval Air Service
  • Date of Birth: 3rd May 1892
  • Date of Death: 24th January 1917
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer D3
  • Decoration: D.S.O., Croix de Guerre
  • Burial Site: ACHIET LE GRAND COMMUNAL CEMETERY: Grave 3