Mackenzie's bravado soon dissipated and he wondered whether he could withstand the strain of trench warfare. "This life is a very strange one," he wrote in one of his philosophical moments to Murray on Jan. 30, 1917. By March and the end of his first tour of duty at the front, he marvelled at how the Canadians had performed—in his words, "going through what no one could imagine men could do through."
"Please substitute mentally mud, rain for snow and you get a better idea of things," said Mackenzie in his Christmas card to President Murray.
Mackenzie was wounded, recovered and awarded the Military Cross for distinguished and meritorious services in battle. On May 11, 1945, the U of S conferred a Doctor of Laws on Chalmers Jack Mackenzie.
For more information about the university and the Great War, visit greatwar.usask.ca.