Sidney Clarence KENNEDY

KENNEDY, Sidney Clarence

Service Number: 12808
Enlisted: 20 January 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 11th Field Ambulance
Born: Tullkilkey Station, South Australia, 20 September 1892
Home Town: St Peters (SA), Norwood Payneham St Peters, South Australia
Schooling: Magill Public School
Occupation: Postman
Died: Killed in Action, Belgium, 4 October 1917, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Ypres Reservoir Cemetery
Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Ypres, Flanders, Belgium
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Officers of S.A. Post, Telegraph and Telephone Department HR, Adelaide Postmaster General's Department WWI Honour Board , Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Magill War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

20 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
30 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 12808, 11th Field Ambulance, Third Ypres
30 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 12808, 11th Field Ambulance, HMAT Berrima, Melbourne

Kennedy Family Tragegy

Sydney was the second son of Simon and Amelia Kennedy, born on the 20th August 1892. He enlisted on 20/1/1916 in the Australian Army medical Corps, 11th Field Ambulance. They were formed at Mitcham South Australia as part of the 3rd Australian Division. The Commanding Officer was Lt. Col. M.H.Downey who was to be recommended for a Distinguished Service Order (DSO).

The unit left Australia in four groups on different ships. Sydney Kennedy left Melbourne on the HMAT Berrima A35. The unit regrouped in July 1916, at Lark Hill Camp, Salisbury Plain. They spent four months at this camp, and it was recorded as a most pleasant experience. On 24th of November 1916 they left Southampton for France. At Le Havre they travelled by train to Bailleul. It took three days. On arrival they were knee deep in mud, and marched for another two and a half days to Steenwerck, the Divisional Rest Station. Steenwerk is on the French/Belgian border. They were to spend two Christmases there. This Station would become historic. It was the first station they administered in France. Great pioneering work was carried out at this station.

Back home in Australia, still grieving for members of his family that departed this earth, Simon Kennedy was again to receive terrible news from the front. In the last 9 months Simon Kennedy had buried his wife, his daughter in law Jessie and also received news of his youngest son Reginal Kennedy being killed in action. Now his second son Sydney Clarence, husband of recently departed Jessie, and father of Francis Joseph Kennedy, had been killed in action. He had died on 4/10/1917, less than a month after the death of his younger brother, Reginald Kennedy.

Sydney Clarence Kennedy is buried in the Ypres Reservoir Cemetery in Belgium.

Information on Reginald Kennedy can be found at:

Researched and compiled by The Campbelltown Library “Digital Diggers” group.

The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Tuesday 23 October 1917, p 4
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Tuesday 26 December 1916, p 6
Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Saturday 4 September 1915, p 31
The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931) Friday 12 October 1917, p 5
Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Saturday 20 October 1917, p 38
Australian Christian Commonwealth (SA : 1901 - 1940) Friday 15 August 1919, p 15
Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954) Saturday 5 October 1918, p 12

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Sidney Clarence Kennedy was born in 1892. Born from Simon Kennedy and Amelia Williams. He was the youngest of three brothers all of which, went to war. Sidney was born at Tullkilkey Station, South Australia and grew up in the district of Frome in Magill. He attended Magill public school and after leaving school became a telegraph deliverer, he was then transferred to the mail department at the G.P.O. In 1915, he married Hilda Jessie Carless and had his first child. In this same year, his wife died. A single father with the low income of a postman. This is believed to be his reason for signing up even though have full knowledge of the terroir of the war. To provide for his newly born child and give them a fighting chance at life, a selfless and Nobel act.

After leaving his home to go fight in the war, he contracted a very rare nose virus making him unable to train with his fellow troops. He was moved to France to have intense medical attention. After recovering he was moved into the 11th Field Ambulance as he had no training on the battlefield and they were currently in France. This battalion would follow the 43th battalion (SA’s battalion) into the front line and bring any wounded soldiers to hospitals. In doing this they moved all around the world. From France to Belgium and many other places. He had a very large group of friends and was liked by everyone in his team. Most Field Ambulance would regularly be caught in the crossfire from machine guns, rifle and shrapnel fire. This is what was presumed happened to Sidney. In Belgium, on the 4th of October 1917. His brother dying only a week prior to this Sidney died from unknown reasons. He was buried in Ypres Reservoir Cemetery, Belgium and was a true hero. He gave his life to support his newly born child. A man of passion, love and true bravery. A true Anzac. His next of kin was his father, his child was believed to move in with Simon Kennedy and Amelia Williams. He will be forever loved by not only his family and friends but the country. His name will be displayed on the ANZAC wall of fame in Canberra. He received the ‘Victory Medal’ for his bravery on the battle field. Lest we forget this brave and loving man for his sacrifices for child to live a happy and opportunity filled life.

"Mr. S. Kennedy, of Brougham street, Magill, has been officially notified that his third son, Pte. Sidney C. Kennedy, was killed in action on October 4. The deceased enlisted in May, 1916, and left Australia in the following July with the 11th Field Ambulance. He was educated at Magill Public School, and afterwards employed as telegraph messenger at Magill, whence he was trensferred to the mail department at the G.P.O., and later was letter carrier at St. Peters. He lad a large circle of friends, and was highly respected. A brother, Pte. Reg. Kennedy, died of wounds last September." - from the Adelaide Register 29 Oct 1917 (