1st Battalion, New Zealand Rifle Brigade (New Zealand Army)
Date Of Birth:
07/06/1917 (Killed in Action)
Thomas McKee was the son of Hughie and Mary McKee. Thomas was born on 3rd March 1883 in Drumlamph, just west of Bellaghy. They were a farming family. Thomas emigrated to New Zealand. Prior to enlisting Thomas McKee was working as a labourer. He was living in Tokomaru Bay, East Coast. Thomas McKee enlisted at Trentham Military Camp. He gave his next of kin as his brother Hugh, who was also living in New Zealand. Rifleman Thomas McKee was serving with the 1st Battalion (3rd) of the New Zealand Rifle Brigade when he was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Messines on 7th June 1917 in Belgium.
The Messines Ridge (New Zealand) Memorial to the Missing is situated within Messines Ridge British Cemetery, which is located 9.5 Kms south of Ieper town centre on the Nieuwkerkestraat, a road leading from the Rijselseweg, N365, which connects Ieper to Wijtschate, Mesen and on to Armentieres. From Ieper town centre the Rijselsestraat runs from the market square, through the Lille Gate (Rijselpoort) and directly over the crossroads with the Ieper ring road. The road name then changes to the Rijselseweg.