Born in India in 1892, he had settled in Canada by 1914. He enlisted as a Private in 1914, and was commissioned in Dec. 1916
1892 Nov 10. Born in India. Son of Farquhar MacKinnon and Mary Mackinnon, of Bubnowlie, Tomkohi, Gorakpore/Gorgkhpur, India. His father was a factory manager of the Behar Indigo Factories " In 1885 F.Mackinnon became manager and continued upto 1888, when A Macfarlane took charge till 1889 when F Mackinnon returned and continued to 1897. John Mackinnon then took up the management to 1899. In that year F Mackinnon managed to 1905 and still continues as manager." The British established a flourishing indigo trade, based largely in Champaran district in Bihar. It consisted of plantations and processing factories. Conditions on these plantations were harsh.
1911 census at RMA Sandhurst, a gentleman cadet.
1912 Feb 14. Gazetted 2nd Lt. The undermentioned Gentlemen Cadets from the Royal Military College to be Second Lieutenants.John Alister (sic) Mackinnon. Middlesex Regt
1913 Apr 9. The Duke of Cambridge's Own (Middlesex Regiment), Second Lieutenant John A. Mackinnon resigns his commission.
1914 Aug 25. Enlists in Canada
1916 Dec 1. 15th Can. Inf. Bn. The undermentioned Serjts. to be temp. Lts. : No. 652 J. A. Mackinnon.
1918 Jul 24. Canadian, Mach Gun Corps. Temp. Lt. J. A. MacKinnon to be temp Qr.-Mr., with the hon. rank of Capt. while so empld.
1918 Jul 24. Canadian Mach Gun Corps. Temp. Lt. J. A. MacKinnon to be temp Qr.-Mr., with the hon. rank of Capt. while so empld.
1918 Oct/Dec. Married Agnes B Edwards in Marylebone which could be his marriage
1918 May 24. The undermentioned temp. Lts. to be temp. Capts. : — J A Mackinnon MC
1919 Mar 7. MC gazetted Lt. John Allister MacKinnon, 15th Inf. Bn. 1st C. Ontario R. In the above attack he was in charge of headquarters personnel. The village of Marquion was held by bodies of the enemy, who were holding up our advance. He led his party into the village, and was successful in dislodging several enemy machine-gun posts. During this operation he had his arm broken by a bullet, but continued to lead his men until the situation had been cleared, lie showed fine courage and devotion to duty. Their War Diary is available online
1919 Aug 1. 1st Central Ontario The undermentioned temp. Lts. retire in. the British Isles : — J. A. Mackinnon, M.C.
1920 Nov 9. Bankruptcy receiving order against Capt John A Mackinnon of 61 Stanhope Gdnst, London . A Motor Transport Manager.
1920 Oct 28. Joined ADRIC with RIC no , ADRIC no 917. Posted to H Coy as Company Commander
Ryle Dwyer in "Tans, Terror and Troubles" gives some background on the unpopularity of Major MacKinnon, On 25th Dec 1920, MacKinnon and 4 other Auxiliaries raided the home of a local creamery manager. Two IRA men in the house were shot and killed, and then MacKinnon ordered everyone out of the house and set fire to it.
A local man described MacKinnon as "A tall broad shouldered Scot, he walked with a confident swagger. MacKinnon always carried a pistol at the ready in a holster strapped loosely to his thigh. This together with the huge bearskin gloves that he always wore, gave him the air of ruthless military efficiency. Yet he was quite suave, and could be very personable when he wished "
1920 Dec 25. Shooting of Reidy & Lean. Gave evidence at the inquest of Reidy and Lean
1921 Mar 3. An attempt to kill MacKinnon in an ambush at Ballyroe when he was returning from Ardfert to Tralee had to be called off when one of the IRA men was accidentally shot.
1921 Mar 17. Ryle Dwyer quotes a local man as saying that Mackinnon "surprised some of the lads. He jumped out of his car and kicked the stuffing out of 3 or 4 lads. He tied one end of a rope to Moss Hogan's legs and the other end to a horse. He then drove the horse along the road. Poor Moss was in the devil of a way for a long time from the battering he got"
1921 Apr 9. DI1 JA MacKinnon, DI3 WH Ballantine, S/L Surtees, T/C CVH Harrison were at the shooting of Driscoll. Surtees was wounded by shotgun pellets. 3 Crossley tenders went to inspect a temporary bridge that intelligence had led them to believe would be destroyed by the IRA. They found a group of men in the act of trying to destroy it. The group split and ran, and the Auxiliaries opened fire. Daniel Driscoll was hit and later died of the wounds
1921 Apr 15. Commanding officer of H coy in Tralee. Shot while off duty and playing golf in Tralee with DI.3 R W H Ballantine (ADRIC no 935). The IRA knew that he played golf here regularly, and had kept watch on the golf course for about 2 weeks before their chance came. The hit squad was a sniper with a rifle, James Cornelius Healy a veteran of WW1, and three men with shotguns, Johnny Riordan, Tommy Barrett and Jack Mason. Healy hid in a tree overlooking the third green and waited till Mackinnon was perfectly still as he shaped to hit the ball. Healy shot MacKinnon twice in the head. The others opened up with shotguns, and all the IRA men were able to escape in the resulting confusion. The Auxiliaries went on a spree of arson and killing, which in turn led to IRA killings.
There were 4 other Auxiliaries playing golf that afternoon on the course. All we unarmed
His father left a tidy sum when he died in India in 1931
There is something odd about this marriage for his father - it was in Scotland in 1911, and does not appear to be a second marriage
ADRICWO 339/8201 Is his 1912/1913 commission