Victory Medal (1914-1919)

Catalogue number
  • OMD 5678
Department
Exhibits
Display status
IWM London
Materials
  • whole: metal/cloth
Dimensions
  • Medal: Height 3 mm, Length 36 mm, Width 36 mm
  • whole: Height 15 mm, Length 100 mm, Width 75 mm
Alternative names
  • full name: Victory Medal (1914-1919)
  • simple name: medal, British
Creator
Category
Decorations and awards

Label

Able Seaman Albert Edward McKenzie (23 Oct 1898-3 Nov 1918). Albert McKenzie was born in Bermondsey, and joined the Royal Navy as a boy entrant in 1913. In 1918 he volunteered for the naval force being formed to attack the Belgian port of Zeebrugge in a daring plan to prevent its use by German submarines. Just after midnight on 23 April 1918, St. George's Day, Captain Alfred Carpenter RN brought HMS Vindictive alongside the harbour wall known as the Mole. Casualties were heavy even before the storming parties landed. McKenzie, carrying a Lewis gun and 400 rounds of ammunition, followed his officer onto the Mole and in a running fight engaged German positions with machine-gun fire. Ordered to withdraw, and with his Lewis gun blown from his grasp, McKenzie fought his way back using his pistol, bayonet and bare hands. Badly wounded in the back and foot, he was eventually pulled to safety. The Victoria Cross warrant ( Clause 13) allowed participants in a corporate act of bravery to nominate who was to receive the medal. McKenzie was the choice of his fellow ratings. Still recovering from his wounds, McKenzie contracted pneumonia and died in November 1918 aged 20. He is buried at Camberwell New Cemetery, Honor Oak, in south London.

Physical description

medal and ribbon (See) OMD 624

History note

Please see entry for McKenzie's Victoria Cross OMD 5286. Able Seaman Albert Edward McKenzie (23 Oct 1898-3 Nov 1918). Albert McKenzie was born in Bermondsey, and joined the Royal Navy as a boy entrant in 1913. In 1918 he volunteered for the naval force being formed to attack the Belgian port of Zeebrugge in a daring plan to prevent its use by German submarines. Just after midnight on 23 April 1918, St. George's Day, Captain Alfred Carpenter RN brought HMS Vindictive alongside the harbour wall known as the Mole. Casualties were heavy even before the storming parties landed. McKenzie, carrying a Lewis gun and 400 rounds of ammunition, followed his officer onto the Mole and in a running fight engaged German positions with machine-gun fire. Ordered to withdraw, and with his Lewis gun blown from his grasp, McKenzie fought his way back using his pistol, bayonet and bare hands. Badly wounded in the back and foot, he was eventually pulled to safety. The Victoria Cross warrant ( Clause 13) allowed participants in a corporate act of bravery to nominate who was to receive the medal. McKenzie was the choice of his fellow ratings. Still recovering from his wounds, McKenzie contracted pneumonia and died in November 1918 aged 20. He is buried at Camberwell New Cemetery, Honor Oak, in south London.

Engraved (on rim)

J31736. A.E.McKENZIE. A.B. R.N.

Associated items
Associated people and organisations