Lt. Col. Mackay

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Mackay
225th (Kootenay) Battalion

Col. Mackay says that he made the appointment solely upon the merits of the applicant, and that no appointments he has made, or may in future make, will be upon any other basis than that of proven merit, and that all commissions o be issued, excepting the staff, in the 225th battalion, will be of the rank of lieutenant, the promotions to the higher ranks to be made after fitness and competency has been demonstrated by service.

(Lethbridge Herald, 28 Mar 1916, 4)

A native of Ireland, Joseph Mackay was born in Londonderry on 16 September 1865. After immigrating to Kingston, Ontario with his family as a boy, MacKay moved to Carleton Place. He joined the 42nd Battalion, Lanark and Renfrew Regiment and rose to become its commanding officer in 1898. He was succeeded by Lennox Irving in 1901 and retired to British Columbia.

On the outbreak of war, in September 1914, Mackay created the 107th East Kootenay Regiment and took charge of recruitment efforts for the province. In 1916, he assumed command of the 225th Battalion based in Fernie. The unit departed for England in late January 1917 with under five-hundred men. Fifty-one year old Mackay was left behind.

After the war, Mackay moved to the United States. He worked as an agent for Great Northern Railway in Wisconsin, Montana and Washington State. He died in Seattle on 23 July 1937.


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