James Henry HENNESSY


HENNESSY, James Henry

Service Number: 2619
Enlisted: 13 April 1915, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Mount Schank, South Australia, 1890
Home Town: Mount Gambier, Mount Gambier, South Australia
Schooling: Mount Schank Provisional School
Occupation: Labourer
Died: Killed In Action, Meteren, France, 24 April 1918
Cemetery: Meteren Military Cemetery
Plot 1 , Row C, Grave 289, Meteren Military Cemetery, Meteren, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Mount Gambier War Memorial, Port MacDonnell War Memorial, Yahl Memorial Hall Honour Board, Yahl WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

13 Apr 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2619, Adelaide, South Australia
23 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2619, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
23 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2619, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Kanowna, Adelaide
3 Oct 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2619, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
25 Jul 1916: Wounded Private, SN 2619, 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , GSW (right leg)
9 May 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 10th Infantry Battalion
10 Jul 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 10th Infantry Battalion
20 Sep 1917: Wounded Corporal, SN 2619, 10th Infantry Battalion, Menin Road, 2nd occasion
24 Apr 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 2619, 10th Infantry Battalion, Villers-Bretonneux

Help us honour James Henry Hennessy's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

James Hennessy was born in Mount Schanck, South Australia to John and Hannah Martha Hennessy around 1890. He grew up there as a Methodist. After he school he worked as a labourer. On the 13th of April 1915, he enlisted for World War 1. At this time, he had just turned 25 and was single. His next of kin was listed as his mother, Mrs Hannah Martha Hennessy, who was living with him until he left.

After basic training, Hennessy and his unit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A61 Kanowna on the 23rd of June 1915, still aged 25. This boat was hired by the Commonwealth and was used until early 1919. James Hennessy was ranked as a private.  

Hennessy landed in Gallipoli on 4th October 1915 and saw through the final, uncomfortable months of the campaign. In April 1916, he went with the 10th Battalion to France and received a shell wound in the leg at Pozières. Treatment for this wound took him to England, and he only rejoined his unit in April 1917. He was promoted Lance Corporal in May and Corporal in July, before being sent off to train at the Army Sniping School. He was then wounded for a second time at Polygon Wood on 20th September 1917: this time a shrapnel wound to the arm. After treatment in hospital he returned to duty in November 1917.

He was also involved in the attack on Meteren, France, which was the battle in which he died.

On the 24th of February 1918, James Hennessy had just gone out with a picket to observe the other soldiers at approximately 10:30pm and returned safely. An hour after this, some soldiers went to look for him and did not find him. Hennessy was reported wounded and missing and was later discovered to have been killed in action by being shot in the chest at the age of 28. This was three years after he commenced his time in the war.

Throughout his time in the war, James gained three medals that were the standard medals for soldiers who fought in this war. These medals were the British War medal, the Victory Medal as well as a 1914/15 star. He was buried in Meteren, France, the city of his death, in the Meteren Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row L, Grave No. 289), France.

James Hennessy sacrificed his life for his country and was a very brave soldier. Being an ANZAC means that you have positive qualities such as courage to be brave, endurance to last long, ingenuity, humour and mateship with your fellow soldiers. The ANZAC Spirit is something that the Australian and New Zealand soldiers claimed to have had. It meant that they shared special characteristics, mostly ones that can be used and helpful on the battlefield. The resilience that Hennessy and his fellow soldiers showed by being persistent and getting back up and fighting on until the end is a true display of the ANZAC spirit. James showcased everything that the ANZACs are all about and is still remembered with a positive memory today.



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