“Fighting Mac” McKenzie & other ANZAC Chaplains of WW1

A lecture by Dr Daniel Reynaud

The legendary William McKenzie’s tireless work as a Salvation Army Chaplain among the Anzacs in World War I earned him the nickname ‘Fighting Mac’. On the outbreak of war McKenzie applied for a chaplaincy immediately and joined the AIF, attached to the 4th Battalion. He was one of the first chaplains ashore at Gallipoli. He lumped stretchers and carries water for months on end as well as tending the wounded and burying the dead. In France and Belgium he continued to live in the front line with the troops. McKenzie was at Pozieres, Bullecourt, Mouquet Farm, Polygon Wood and Passchendaele. What makes McKenzie’s reputation incredible is that he embodied almost everything that the typical digger loved to hate. He railed against booze, brothels, betting and bad language, and ran frequent evangelistic campaigns for the Anzacs. Despite these apparent disadvantages Fighting Mac was worshipped and revered by the soldiers — becoming the man who best represented the Anzac ideal. In this talk, historian Dr Daniel Reynaud, author of The Man the Anzacs Revered: The Legendary William “Fighting Mac” McKenzie, Anzac Chaplain will tell Fighting Mac’s story and discuss the role and contributions of other Anzac chaplains of the First World War.

About the Presenter

Dr Daniel Reynaud is an authority on Australian Great War social history, publishing books on its cinema (Celluloid Anzacs), wartime spirituality (Anzac Spirituality; The Man the Anzacs Revered; The Anzacs, Religion and God) and Anzac food (The Anzac Table), as well as many book chapters and articles on similar themes. He initiated the partial reconstruction of Australia’s first Gallipoli movie (The Hero of the Dardanelles, 1915/2015), and has authored and fronted an award-winning series of documentaries on the Anzacs and religion. He is Emeritus Professor of History at Avondale University. Dr Reynaud is also a Visiting Historian for the Anzac Memorial Hyde Park, Sydney.