ARNOLD, Kenneth

Service Number: 1309A
Enlisted: 28 January 1915
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd Infantry Battalion
Born: Seckington, Warwickshire, England, 1898
Home Town: Mackay, Mackay, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer
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World War 1 Service

28 Jan 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 1309A, 2nd Infantry Battalion
11 Feb 1915: Involvement Private, 1309A, 2nd Infantry Battalion
11 Feb 1915: Embarked Private, 1309A, 2nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Seang Bee, Sydney
21 Oct 1918: Honoured Military Medal, For Meteren 24 June 1918

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Biography contributed by Stephen Brooks

Kenneth Arnold was born during 1898 in Warwickshire England. He enlisted in early 1915 when he was probably not yet 17 years of age with his older brother Guy Hartley Arnold and they both served in the 2nd Battalion AIF at Gallipoli.

His brother, 1311 Pte. Guy Hartley Arnold was one of the earliest casualties of the 2nd Battalion in France when he was killed in action 26 April 1916, aged 28.

Another brother, 15724 Gnr. Rupert John Arnold 1st Field Artillery Brigade, died of wounds in Belgium on 29 July 1917, aged 24.

Kenneth served at Gallipoli for three months before he was evacuated with dysentery. He was shipped to hospital in England and was fit for duty in January 1916.

Kenneth struggled with Army discipline; he was soon in trouble for (1) being slovenly dressed; (2) failing to salute an officer; (3) insubordination to a superior officer for which he received 7 days detention in England. During the war he was found guilty on seven different occasions for mainly being absent without leave, failing to comply with an order, and also once for travelling on railway without a ticket. In all he was sentenced to 136 days of detention and lost a total of 134 days pay for these offences, and faced a court martial once. He was also not paid for the 193 days he spent on 5 separate occasions being treated for venereal disease.

Like many of the Australians who were a bit unruly when out of the lines, he was a good soldier in action and he was awarded a Military Medal, 'During the operations on 23rd/24th June, 1918 South West of Meteren this man went forward as a mopper up to the 2nd objective. On working along the trench, he came on a party of four enemy, who refused to surrender. He engaged them killing one and dispersing the others. When the trench was cleared, he acted as Company Runner and displayed great energy and courage and set a good example to all.'

Kenneth spent three weeks leave over Christmas in England, presumably visiting his parents, and returned to Australia during January 1919.