The story of WWI Salvo chaplain Fighting Mac
22 April 2015
In this 15-minute Anzac Day special, Salvation Army historian Envoy Dr George Hazell shares with Salvos Radio about the life of World War One Salvation Army chaplain William Mackenzie, or ‘Fighting Mac’ as he would become known.
Chaplain to the First Infantry Brigade, Fighting Mac went ashore with the troops at Gallipoli. In one three-day period, he conducted 647 funerals and after one funeral service he found three bullet-holes in his hat. He was later awarded a Military Cross for his work, an honour virtually unheard of for a military chaplain.
“When he returned it was said he was the best-known return soldier in Australia and the evidence is pretty good. Whenever he went as a Salvationist to any town in Australia, there would be a crowd turn up. Some wanting to shake his hand. Sometimes it was a mother who wanted to thank him for what he had done. But they all knew this name and would turn up in their hundreds to meet him,” said Envoy Dr Hazell of Fighting Mac.