This year marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War, in which approximately 1,100 brave Old Boys and Upper Canada College faculty and staff members enlisted and 179 Old Boys gave their lives.
A new website called UCC Remembers launched in their honour on Nov. 11 in conjunction with the school’s annual Remembrance Day services. UCC Remembers uses words and photos to tell the stories of Old Boys who served and often made the ultimate sacrifice. It provides insights and information from the school’s archives as well as links to other sources so you can learn more about such courageous men as Lt. Cortlandt Graham Gordon MacKenzie 1907, the first Old Boy to be killed in the First World War on Oct. 29, 1914.
MacKenzie was initially reported wounded and then dead after fighting with the Royal Scots Fusiliers in the first battle of Ypres in western Belgium. The boarding student was remembered in the Christmas 1914 edition of College Times, which said: “His promising career has closed at the early age of twenty-four, and nothing remains but to treasure his memory in our hearts, as one who counted himself happy to fight and die for a good cause.”
The forthcoming issue of Old Times will have short features and photos of MacKenzie and a few other Old Boys to give you an idea of what you can find on UCC Remembers and hopefully provide more impetus for you to visit the site.
College archivist Jill Spellman is always interested in finding out new information or receiving memorabilia related to UCC’s military history and involvement over the years, so please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-488-1125, ext. 2372 if you believe you have something that would be useful for UCC Remembers or the archives.