Sgt John Mackesy (Ret'd)
We regret to advise of the death of Sergeant John Mackesy (Ret'd) on 2 April 2008.
Born in London, England in 1915, his military affinity started early in life as the son of QMS John Mackesy, Royal Engineers, who served in South Africa, Boer War, the majority of WW I in the trenches of France and Belgium and then with the Chief Engineer's Staff in Cologne, Germany. John joined the British Territorial Army as a boy of 17 and served briefly with the Royal Corps of Signals. He later joined the British regular army in the mid-30's as a gunner in the Royal Horse Artillery and saw service in Singapore and Aden. Returning to England, John was a police constable in Southend, England and was mobilized on the outbreak of war and taken into the Royal Engineers where he served in 1 Stevedore Company, RE [British Expeditionary Force] in Brest, France from 1939 until evacuation during Dunkirk in 1940. During WW II due to his prior police experience he was demobilized from the Royal Engineers and enlisted into MI5 (counter espionage) where he served the remainder of the war. Post-war, John returned to the Southend Police force.
In 1953 he answered the call from Canada for former British soldiers to join for the Korean War and joined the Royal Canadian Engineers in England. He never did get to Korea but served with 1 Field Squadron, RCE that included the Squadron's tour in Werl, Germany from 1955 and the subsequent relocation to Petawawa in 1957. John stayed with the Squadron until 1961 at which time he was posted to the Royal Canadian School of Military Engineering, Chilliwack. He retired in 1965 as a sergeant while at RCSME.
After retirement, John re-located to Richmond and worked for a number of years at the University of British Columbia. He retired from UBC to became a "Snowbird" - RV'ing to Arizona for a number of years and finally settled on Vancouver Island.