Medals and Awards
- Companion of the Most Distinguished Order of St Michael and St George (CMG) AWMM
CMG citation: "For valuable services rendered in connection with the war." (London Gazette, 4 June 1917, p6926) AWMM
- Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) AWMM
CBE citation: "For valuable services rendered in connection with Military Operations in Egypt." (London Gazette, 3 June 1919, p6926) AWMM
- Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
DSO citation: "For distinguished service in the field. (Sinai)" (London Gazette, 1 January 1917, p29) AWMM
- 1914-1915 Star AWMM
First MiD citation: "In connection with administration in Egypt." (London Gazette, 21 June 1916, p6184) AWMM
- British War Medal (1914-1920) AWMM
Second MiD citation: "Mentioned in despatches from General Sir Alexander Murray, K.C.B., Commander-in-Chief, Egyptian Expeditionary Force." (London Gazette, 1 December 1916, p11808) AWMM
- Victory Medal with oak leaf AWMM
Third MiD citation: "For gallant and distinguished conduct in the field or for other valuable services. General A.J. Murray's despatch dated 1st March 1917. (Commander-in-Chief, Egyptian Expeditionary Force)" (London Gazette, 6 July 1917, p6774) AWMM
- Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal AWMM
Fourth MiD citation: "For services during the period from 19th September 1918 to 31st January 1919." (London Gazette, 5 June 1919, p7191) AWMM
- New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal AWMM
- Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
London Gazette 01/01/1917 AWMM
POW liberation details
POW serial number
- Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
Wounded during World War 1 AWMM
- Died of Disease, Cause of Death AWMM
Heart failure AWMM
Mackesy was the son of Captain Ernest Randolph Mackesy, formerly of the 97th Regiment of Foot, and his wife, Fanny Johnston Bell. His father moved to New Zealand after retiring from the army and died in Auckland in 1860.
Mackesy was educated in France, Switzerland, and Germany with the help of family members and was fluent in German.
Charles moved to the USA, where he married Jessie Adam in Kansas on 30 November 1880. They had three sons, Charles, Henry and William, all of whom served with the New Zealand forces during World War 1. Charles was killed at Gallipoli.
Mackesy arrived in New Zealand to rescue his father's lands near Whangarei from being forfeited in the 1890s.
He served as a Volunteer with the Marsden Mounted Rifles and then the 11th (North) Auckland Mounted Rifles, which became known anecdotally as "Nearly All Mackesy's Relations" after his three sons joined in 1914.
He enlisted with the New Zealand Expeditionary Force as a Lt Col and Commanding Officer (CO) of Auckland Mounted Rifles.
His regiment landed on Gallipoli in May 1915. At 54, he was noted as being the oldest soldier there.
"He was soon sent back to Egypt to take charge of the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade base, allegedly because he had on the same day both countermanded an order to cease firing and successfully opposed instructions to mount a suicidal attack. He was renowned for being outspoken and 'very quick at retort', attributes which probably contributed to his failure to become commander of the mounted brigade in 1917. His propensity for lecturing his men on the course of the war in the light of his interpretation of biblical prophecy may also have counted against him." (DNZB)
Appointed Commanding Officer (CO) of Training Regiment, Palestine, 1917 as a temporary Colonel.
He returned to New Zealand late in 1917 for leave and then returned to Egypt on 2 August 1917, where he took charge of the NZ training units and depots.
He served briefly as Military Governor of Es-Salt-Amman District, Jordan, in 1918, staying on to oversee the transfer of power to the Arabs before returning to New Zealand.
His wife Jessie died in 1920, and Mackesy remarried, to Miriam Lilla Davies (27 years his junior), on 3 January 1925 in Auckland.
Served as CO of North Auckland Mounted Rifles during the 1920s. AWMM
Date of death
Age at death
Place of death
Cause of death
Maunu Cemetery, Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand Public - Sandra - Researcher - 31 May 2018 - Whangarei District Council Cemetery Records
A SOLDIER'S END
DEATH OF COLONEL MACKESY.
Quite a gloom was cast over Whangarei today when the news spread that Colonel Charles Ernest Randolph Mackesy, C.M.G.,, C.B.E., D.S.0., one of the most distinguished officers who served in the N.Z.E.F. in the Great War, had died suddenly at 11.30 a.m. at his home, "The Hill," between Whangarei and Onerahi. Deceased, who was 64 years of age, was born in Dublin in 1861, and was a son of the late Captain E. R. Mackesy, of the 97th Regiment. He was educated in France, Switzerland and Germany, and was an accomplished linquist in several languages. In his younger days he was a good athlete and took many prizes in various sports. After his marriage to a daughter of the late Thomas Adam, of Kilmarnock, deceased went to fhe United States where he spent several years. He came to Whangarei in 1891 as the outcome of a notification from the New Zealand Government that the grant of land which he made his home, and which had been alloted to his father for services in the Maori war, would be forfeited if he did not occupy it. Deceased took up the land and during the intervening years he developed it into a first-class farm and orchard property. His wife and three sons, one of whom, Lieutenant H. E. Mackesy, was killed at Gallipoli, followed him from America shortly after he settled in Whangarei. His first wife predeceased him five years ago, and he subsequently married again, his widow and two sons, Messrs. C. R. E. Mackesy and W. B. Mackesy surviving him. Col. Mackesy had been a volunteer and territorial officer in North Auckland for twenty years and when the war broke out he immediately offered his services and left in the Main Body in charge of the Auckland Mounted Rifles. For five years and a half he served the colours, and returned soldiers will recollect many incidents which made him a popular officer during the hard times on the Peninsula. After the evacuation Col. Mackesy became Commandant of Zeitoun Camp, an Public - Sandra - Researcher - 31 May 2018 - Paperspast online (NORTHERN ADVOCATE, 20 NOVEMBER 1925)
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Charles Ernest Randolph Mackesy
- New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1914-1919). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force, Volume I. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
Vol1: 460 AWMM
- New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1918). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume III. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
71: 4 AWMM
- Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
- McDonald, W. (2001). Honours and awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918. Napier, N.Z.: Helen McDonald. AWMM
- Major Thomas A. Blake photograph album. Auckland War Memorial Museum - Tamaki Paenga Hira (PH-2014-69-1). AWMM
- Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2015). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-3). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
Vol. 2: Includes portrait AWMM
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