Alexander Esson Mackie
Mackie was born on the family croft at Brae of Cults Kennethmont on
15th June 1915, son of James G and Annie Mackie. He had four brothers
and a sister and became known
to family and friends as Sandy. He was employed by a bank in the nearby
market town of Insch but was later transferred to an overseas post
on the Caribbean island of Jamaica.
On a Driving Licence dated 8th April 1938 he is residing at 7 Haining Street, St Andrew. St Andrew is a Parish of Jamaica. The capital and financial centre of Jamaica, Kingstown, extends into St Andrew, and it is fairly certain Sandy worked in a bank there.
Well out of the way, in an exotic, comfortable paradise island in the sun when war broke out in September 1939, he decided it was his duty to return home and serve his country. He could quite easily have sat the whole thing out in Jamaica. His brothers also joined the services.
Sandy and a friend borrowed some money and worked their passage back to Britain from Jamaica on a banana boat. He joined the RAF and underwent training as a pilot.
Only a week
before his death Sandy was home at Brae of Cults on leave. He had
been recently promoted to the rank of Pilot Officer and said he was
commanding nine crews bound for The Middle East. He hoped to be out
there before Winter.
RAF enquiry into the accident concluded that a faulty hydraulic system
leading to a failure of the flaps was the main cause.
Sandy and his
pal in Jamaica.
Sandy enjoying some free time in Jamaica
Driving Licence issued 8th April 1938
Sandy's parents Annie and James Mackie at Brae of Cults
The family headstone and the WW2 War Memorial in Kennethmont Kirkyard (New) bear details of Sandy Mackie.
The outlines of the Buck and Tap o' Noth on the skyline would have been very familiar landmarks to him from the family home at Cults.