Ernest Thomas John KENNEDY


KENNEDY, Ernest Thomas John

Service Number: 797
Enlisted: 18 August 1914
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 7th Infantry Battalion
Born: Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, 1889
Home Town: Bendigo, Greater Bendigo, Victoria
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Bank Clerk
Died: Killed In Action, Krithia, Gallipoli, Ottoman Empire, Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey, 8 May 1915
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Helles Memorial, Cape Helles, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Helles Memorial, Gallipoli
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World War 1 Service

18 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 797, 7th Infantry Battalion
19 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 797, 7th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
19 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 797, 7th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Hororata, Melbourne
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 797, 7th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
8 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 797, 7th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli

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Biography contributed by Glenunga International High School

Ernest Thomas John Kennedy was a bank clerk, born in the town of Bendigo in the state of Victoria, his parents being Thomas Kennedy and Minnie Kennedy. Ernest had lived the majority of his life in the town of Bendigo, being a loyal and caring person with an optimistic personality. During his life he had always been faithful to the church as a presbyterian, always thinking for the better of others.

On the 18th of August 1914, Ernest had decided to participate in the war, joining the 7th Infantry Battalion with the rank of Private, being one of many who together created the 2nd Brigade. Two months after his enlistment, Ernest had been transferred to Melbourne in order to embark on the HMAT A20 Hororata, this cruiser weighing an estimated 9,400 tons with an average speed of 26 km per hour. On this cruiser boarded multiple Australians either from Port Melbourne or Victoria, the majority of Victorians forming the 7th Infantry Battalion.

The A20 Hororata travelled towards Albany from Melbourne, afterwards proceeding to the land of Egypt arriving on the 2nd of December. After being stationed in Egypt for a few months, where they had patrolled the border and went through combat training with other military personnel, the 2nd Brigade took part in the Anzac landing that was on the 25th of April 1915 as part of the second wave. This was where they had advanced during the evening from the western side of the Peninsula, also known as the Aegean sea.

However, the brigades had landed ashore a mile from where they had intended to go. Resulting in the troops having to advance inland under the opposition firepower from the Ottoman Turkish troops. Afterwards, the companies and battalions were shortly placed into battle.

Although there was failure in the achievement of their primary objectives, they had managed to persevere, and in return, formed a beachhead under the British empire's rule, this acting as a primary role for the upcoming war. The 2nd Brigade then transferred to Cape Helles 10 days after in order to support the attack on the village known as Krithia which started, on the 28th of April. This attack taking up a large amount of combat potential, at least a third of the companies and brigades original strength. This, disappointingly, only resulting in gaining a small amount of Kritias land and having it placed under britishes rule.

After supporting the first battle for Krithia, the Victorian Brigades had to return to Anzac Cove in order to defend the beachhead. During this period of time, on the 19th of February, the ‘Battle of Gallipoli’ began. Their battalion contributed to this battle by defending the beachhead for days and nights. At least a month later, the 2nd Brigade had to act in the Second battle of Krithia, this was the last battle for Ernest Thomas John Kennedy. After persevering and enduring through multiple and numerous life and death situations, he had his life taken on the battlefield for the noble cause of defending his comrades, being put to rest on the 8th of May 1915 during one of the many battles for Gallipoli. The second battle of Krithia, Ernest’s last battle, ended on the same day, the battle for Gallipoli however, ended the year afterwards on the 9th of January 1916, after the evacuation of 142 000 soldiers of both men, young and old on the day prior, the 8th of January. Although this had been considered to be a failure by military officials, Australians had Gallipoli become a household name, and with this, came the annual tradition known as ‘Anzac Day’.

After the war had ended on the 11th of November 1918, 3 years after Ernest had unfortunately passed away. His name was engraved at Helles memorial where he will forever be remembered, nurtured, and preserved. For the memories of himself, and the loved ones he so deeply cared for. May he forever be remembered, lest we forget.