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|Col. Sir Robert Campbell MacKenzie.|
After an education at Mr. Sutherland's school, Glasgow Academy, Uppingham School, then ruled by the Rev. Edward Thring, and Glasgow University, where he took classes in arts, Philosophy, and Law, he began an apprenticeship with Mr. James Wyllie Guild, C.A., of the firm of Auld & Guild. In that office he found himself in the thick of the eventful times which followed the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank, he afterwards entered his father's office. There, having passed his final examination as a chartered accountant, he became a partner in 1880, and on his father's retiral in 1896 the name of the firm assumed its present form of Aitken, Mackenzie & Clapperton (see business transaction extracts from The Edinburgh Gazette). He holds a number of important professional appointments, among others the auditorship of the British Linen Company Bank, of the North British Railway Company, and of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway Company. He has been for two terms a member of Council of the Institute of Accountants. He is a director on the Scottish Board of the Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company, and of Glasgow Academy.
His father died in 1898, and on his mother's decease, seven years later, he entered upon possession of Edinbarnet. He takes an active interest in county affairs, is a J.P. for Dunbartonshire, and a member of the Standing Joint Committee of the county, and he sits on the Licensing Appeal Courts both of the county and of the Burgh of Clydebank. For some years he was a member of Old Kilpatrick School Board, but retired on finding that the duties occupied too much of his time. He is an elder in the Parish Church of Old Kilpatrick, and has sat as a representative elder in two General Assemblies. As a Conservative he takes a considerable interest in county politics, and is a member of the Central and Western Divisional Councils of the National Union of Conservative Associations, and Ruling Councillor of the West Kilpatrick Habitation of the Primrose League. In rural matters, also, he farms a large part of his own property, and his black-faced sheep have taken a good place in the show yards, and are well known throughout the country. He has been a Director of the Highland and Agricultural Society, and Chairman of both the Dunbartonshire and the Glasgow Agricultural Societies. He was one of the two marshals at the opening of Glasgow Exhibition in 1901, and Vice-Chairman of the Finance Committee of the undertaking. He was made a Deputy-Lieutenant of the County of the City of Glasgow in November, 1908.
His experience as a Volunteer began in April, 1875, when he received a commission in the Glasgow Highland regiment. Some years later he raised and commanded the Hillhead companies of that corps, which attained a high efficiency both in shooting and drill. In 1888, on the invitation of the commanding officer and officers of the 1st V.B. Highland Light Infantry, he transferred to that corps as Lieutenant-Colonel second in command, from 1892 till 1906, as a Colonel he commanded the H.L.I. Brigade 1906-1911 and 3rd Line Group Lowland Division, 1915. He had the honour of being one of the first to be put on the strength of the Field Army for home defence, and was one of the few which continuously complied with the extra conditions of service thereby required. During the South African War the corps not only supplied officers and men to the fighting forces, but its headquarters were the centre for the distribution of clothing and other necessities to the wives and families of soldiers at the front, and for the supply of comforts to the soldiers and wounded themselves, of which immense quantities were sent out. This very great work was carried on under the superintendence of Mrs. Mackenzie. On 1st June, 1906, he was gazetted to the command of the Highland Light Infantry Volunteer Brigade, with the rank of Colonel in the Army. He has been appointed first Chairman of the Territorial Force Association of the County of the City of Glasgow, which came into existence on 1st January, 1908, and he has now been appointed to the command of the Highland Light Infantry Brigade of the Territorial Army.
Colonel Mackenzie is President of the West of Scotland Tactical Society, and a Trustee and former Chairman of the Scottish Rifle Association, and he has been identified with many movements for the better organisation and improvement of the Volunteer force, particularly in the institution of evening schools of instruction for officers in Scotland, and in the inception of the Scottish Institute of Commanding Officers of Volunteers. He himself holds the certificate for passing the Field Officers' course at a school of instruction, and the Field Officer's "Q" certificate which implies "qualification" as a field officer of the army in tactics, topography, fortification, organisation and equipment, and military law. He was granted the honorary rank of Colonel and the Volunteer Decoration in 1895. And he has been appointed to represent the views of Scottish Volunteers on deputations to the War Office and in evidence before House of Commons Committees and before the Royal Commission on Militia and Volunteers four years ago.
All his life he has been fond of horses and shooting and fishing, and as a lad he walked with rod and knapsack through a great part of the Highlands. During his college days and afterwards he took a keen interest in athletics. He won the quarter mile at the Inter-University sports, and at that distance was the best amateur of his time. He also played Rugby football, his clubs being the Glasgow Academicals and Glasgow University. In the International matches, Scotland against England and Ireland, he played three-quarter back in 1877 and 1881. He has travelled at various times in Germany, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, and France, and has once crossed the Atlantic to Newfoundland.
He married, first, in 1884, Katherine Ellis, third daughter of the late David Richardson of Hartfield and Hallhill. She died in 1885. He married secondly, in 1896, Henrietta Mary O.B.E. (died 1930), second daughter of the Rev. Alexander Macquisten, D.D., and has issue, a daughter born in 1897, and a son born in 1904. He was D.L. (1927) and J.P. for Dumbartonshire.
No exact date for his dead has so far been found, but his last recorded entry was for 1945 (Kelly's), with no entry being noted in 1947 (Kelly's).