colin's blog

Albert's 'Ditty Box' found in Canada

For some years before and during WW1 every naval rating was issued with a small wooden box with a lockable lid and a metal name tag. This box was used to keep all the sailor's personal and private possessions and other ‘commodities’ and thus became known a ‘ditty box’.

Albert’s ditty box is in the possession of the McKenzie family in Canada



Simon Hughes leads Zeebrugge delegation

In Nov 2010 Simon Hughes MP led a party of the Albert McKenzie VC Memorial fund raising committe to Zeebrugge

London SE1 Community web site article


Sidney Hesse Raid survivor in 2001

In 2001 Peter Chapman interviewed Sidney Hesse (then aged 101) a survivor of the Raid who had emigrated to New Zealand

Sid Hesse talks about his narrow escape on the Raid


Vindictive moved to new home in 2013

Focus WTV Belgian television news report on relocating the bows of HMS Vindictive to a new site nearer the harbour.

The official opening of the vistors centre is to be in May 2013.

The bows of HMS Vindictive get a new home in Ostende January 2013

Text of original 1993 web site

Albert McKenzie VC and The Raid on Zeebrugge 23rd April 1918

Original 1993 web site text, edited January 2013



The Port of Zeebrugge


HM The Queen at Westminster Abbey

In May 2003 Tessa and Colin McKenzie were invited to Westminster Abbey for a Service of Dedication of The Victoria Cross and George Cross Memorial. The Service was followed by a reception hosted by HM The Queen in Westminster Hall. The guests incuded all the surviving holders of the Victora Cross and two family representatives from each of the other VC holders.



Belgian TV film on Albert McKenzie

In November 2009 Colin McKenzie was invited to take part in a Belgian Television documentary about Albert McKenzie and the Raid on Zeebrugge

Filming started in Dover and continued on board a Belgian Navy vessel whilst crossing the channel to Zeebrugge

Housing block named after Albert


In April 2010 a new housing development in Spa Road Bermondsey was named after Albert McKenzie. The name was selected by local residents to celebrate their local war hero. The opening event was attended by Albert's great great nephew Nick McKenzie as guest of honour.


Albert McKenzie Memorial fund launch

In April 2010 the Decima Street Boys Club in Bermondsey held an event to raise funds for the an Albert McKenzie memorial statue 

which is to be erected on Tower Bridge Road. The event was sponsored by Simon Hughes MP who addressed the audience followed by the chief fund raiser Paul Keefe and guest of honour Colin McKenzie

Sound recording of Colin's speech:



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