Veteran Stories:
Malcolm Archibald McKechney

Army

  • The Memory Project, Historica Canada
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My mother's brother was Captain Malcolm Archibald McKechney, and he was born in Gillis Hill, Elderslie Township, but raised and educated in Walkerton, Ontario, where his father was Governor of Bruce County Jail. He graduated in medicine from Queen's in 1913, and practiced with a firm of doctors in Winnipeg, who sent medical teams out to provide care for railway workers in the western provinces.

In 1915, he joined the 179th Battalion of Cameron Highlanders of Winnipeg. He went overseas in 1916, and became attached to the Canadian Army Medical Corps. He went to France in March 1917, and was present Vimy Ridge, but he was killed at Amiens on August the 8th, 1918. He was returning from the front when the ambulance he was traveling in struck an enemy mine and it blew off his one foot and leg. He died at the age of twenty-nine. He is buried in the Vignacourt cemetery in France. He was awarded the Military Medal for bravery, in removing the injured from the lines at Amiens. This medal was presented to his parents by the Prince of Wales at London, Ontario, in October 1919.

In the mid-nineteen sixties, my sister and I offered his medals, letters and other items to the Military Institute in Toronto, and one of their staff selected the Military Medal and citation, some other medals, and a few letters referring to doing blood transfusions at the front, but they didn't take everything, by a long shot, and I have letters from 1913 through 1918, to his parents and to my mother. I also have parts of his Cameron Highlanders uniform. The (?), his dancing slippers, his tartan socks, his red flashes, his Glengarry cap, a compass, a shell case that was made into something or other (I don't know what it is), and some buttons and insignia. We used to have his kilt. It was made into a skirt for me during the Second World War, and also used to have his (?) and his spats, which seem to have disappeared.

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