12 November 2014

Farquhar Fraser McKay

I recently received an email from Chris H who had two WWI medals that he found in the 1980s when demolishing a house in Sawtell, NSW. The medals were awarded to Farquhar Fraser McKay. McKay was a constable in the NSW Police Force who didn't enlist early in the war as he was the only means of support for his mother after two of his brothers enlisted. One was Alexander who died of disease at Gallipoil. The second brother, Ewan, enlisted in 1915 and died of wounds received in France in 1916. When McKay's mother died he was free to enlist, at aged 30, and served in 13th Battalion, AIF. This link is to his service record.
When he enlisted, McKay listed his sister, Annie Bathgate as his next of kin. He survived the war but died in 1926 in Newcastle having never married. It was through the Bathgate family that I traced the closest relative. I have been in contact with McKay's great nephew, Ian, who tells me McKay's neice served during WWII. This was Captain Mairi Fraser Bathgate of the 2/5 Australian General Hospital She saw service in Palestine, Egypt, Greece, Crete, Eritrea, New Guinea, & Morotai during WW2.
Thanks to Ian for permission to use the picture of McKay and to Chris for initiating this return. The returned medal tally is now 1558.

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