Thomas James Bede KENNY VC

KENNY, Thomas James Bede

Service Number: 4195
Enlisted: 23 August 1915, Warwick Farm, New South Wales
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 2nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Paddington, New South Wales, 29 September 1896
Home Town: Bondi, Waverley, New South Wales
Schooling: Waverley Christian Brothers' College
Occupation: Chemist
Died: Natural causes, Concord Repat Hospital, New South Wales, 15 April 1953, aged 56 years
Cemetery: Botany General Cemetery, New South Wales
Memorials: Keith Payne VC Memorial Park, North Bondi War Memorial, Winchelsea WWI Memorial
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World War 1 Service

23 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 4195, Warwick Farm, New South Wales
20 Dec 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 4195, 2nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Aeneas, Sydney
20 Dec 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 4195, 2nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
9 Apr 1917: Honoured Victoria Cross, For most Conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty, Pte. KENNY displayed most conspicuous gallantry in our attack on HERMIES on April 9th 1917. His platoon was held up by an enemy strong point, with a machine gun, on a commanding position which inflicted heavy casualties and effectually prevented further progress. Pte. KENNY wormed his way to a flank, then Rose under heavy rifle and machine gun fire at close range and dashed alone towards the position. He killed one man in advance of the strong point who fired at him and strove to bar his way, then, bombed the position, wounded and made prisoners the whole gun crew of five, killed an officer who showed fight and seized the gun. This action enabled the platoon to occupy the position which was the key to the locality and commanded the country for 1000 yards in front. For this action Pte. KENNY is awarded the Victoria Cross.
26 Jun 1918: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 4195, 2nd Infantry Battalion, Merris (France)
1 Aug 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 2nd Infantry Battalion
12 Dec 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 4195, 2nd Battalion

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Biography contributed by Robert Kearney

Australian Dictionary of Biography - by Matthew Higgins

Thomas James Bede Kenny (1896-1953), soldier and salesman, was born on 29 September 1896 at Paddington, Sydney, son of Austin James Kenny, butcher, from Auckland, New Zealand, and his wife Mary Christina, née Connolly, of New South Wales. Bede Kenny was educated at the Christian Brothers' College, Waverley. He began to train as a chemist's assistant at Bondi but after three months he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 23 August 1915 — a fortnight after the major Australian actions at Lone Pine and The Nek, Gallipoli. On 20 December he embarked with the 13th Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion, and, after arriving in Egypt, served with the 54th Battalion before joining the 2nd on 27 February 1916. In March he went to France and in the second phase of the battle of Pozières fought in the battalion bombing platoon.

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