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Charles Ernest Randolph Mackesy

Portrait from Powles, C.G. (1922) p.28 - No known copyright restrictions

Portrait from Powles, C.G. (1922) p.28 - No known copyright restrictions


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Charles Ernest Randolph AWMM
  • Surname
    Mackesy AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    WWI 13/610 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    9 January 1861 AWMM DublinIreland (Eire) AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    • WW1 Pre 5 August 1914 AWMM The Hill, Whangarei, North Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW1 Unknown AWMM The Hill, Whangarei, North Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • WW1 Mrs Jessie Mackesy (wife), The Hill, Whangarei, North Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
    • WW1 Mrs Jessie Mackesy (wife), The Hill, Whangarei, North Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 16 October 1914 AWMM Married AWMM
    • Pre 2 August 1917 AWMM Married AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • 1915-1916 Gallipoli AWMM
    • Sinai & Palestine AWMM
    • 1914-1916 Egypt AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    WWI 13/610 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment


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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWI AWMM
      Wounded during World War 1 AWMM
    • Died of Disease, Cause of Death AWMM
      Heart failure AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • 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
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About death

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  • Death
    20 November 1925 AWMM
    Age 64 AWMM
    WhangareiNorthland AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
    Maunu Cemetery, Whangarei, Northland, New Zealand Public - Sandra - Researcher - 31 May 2018 - Whangarei District Council Cemetery Records
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary

    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)
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    Auckland War Memorial Museum, World War 1 Hall of Memories AWMM

Roll of Honour

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  • The Crimean and WW1 medals, ceremonial dress sword and WW1 cavalry sword of my great great grandfather. Have been gifted to this museum this year and are presently not on public display but are held in storage by the museum.
    Public - Warren Lee - Direct descendant - 11 December 2022
  • Col. Mackesy's grandfather, Rev William Mackesy was the brother of my husband's great, great, great grandfather, Dr, Thomas Lewis Mackesy. They along with Dr. John Mackesy were the sons of Dr. William Mackesy and Catherine Lewis.

    I am in the throws of organizing my husband's "Family Tree" for our grandchildren and have been attempting to update information regarding all of the individuals listed on a genealogical document that was commissioned in the 1950's.

    Col. Mackesy's father, Capt.Ernest Randolph Mackesy is listed as the "Founder of the New Zealand Branch of the Family."

    These Mackesys are a fascinating group of people and I am enjoying this journey very much.


    Helen Mackesy

Related objects



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  • External links
  • References
    • 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. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 2: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Roll of Honour, Auckland Province (digital copy), 1914 - 1919. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS-2016-2. AWMM
    • McDonald, W. (2013). Honours and Awards to the New Zealand Expeditionary Force in the Great War, 1914-1918. (3rd ed.). Hamilton, N.Z.: Richard Stowers. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
11 December 2022Warren Lee Tauranga, New ZealandDirect descendant
31 May 2018Sandra NorthlandResearcher
14 June 2015Lorraine MGisborne, NZResearcher

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