John Edward (Darkie) KENYON DCM, MM, MID

KENYON, John Edward

Service Number: 741
Enlisted: 24 August 1914, Brisbane
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 9th Infantry Battalion
Born: Otterburn Hampshire England, date not yet discovered
Home Town: Kyogle, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Bush Worker
Died: Killed in Action, Pozieres, France, 23 July 1916, age not yet discovered
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Grevillia World Wars 1 and 2 Honour Board, Kyogle Great War Honor Roll, Kyogle Grevillia Munro & Lever Sawmill WW1 Honour Board, Kyogle Shire Council Honour Roll WW1, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France), Woodenbong and District Roll of Honor WW1
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World War 1 Service

24 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 741, 9th Infantry Battalion, Brisbane
24 Sep 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 741, 9th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '9' embarkation_place: Brisbane embarkation_ship: HMAT Omrah embarkation_ship_number: A5 public_note: ''
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 741, 9th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
25 Apr 1915: Honoured Distinguished Conduct Medal, ANZAC / Gallipoli, See citation attached. Gazetted June 1915
15 May 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 9th Infantry Battalion
2 Jun 1916: Honoured Military Medal, For actions on a raid in the Armentieres sector
23 Jul 1916: Involvement Sergeant, 741, 9th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , --- :awm_ww1_roll_of_honour_import: awm_service_number: 741 awm_unit: 9th Australian Infantry Battalion awm_rank: Sergeant awm_died_date: 1916-07-23

Awarded the Military Medal

'At FLEURBAIX, FRANCE, during the successful raid carried out by 9th Battalion on the night 1st/2nd July, 1916 in company with his Officer was first into enemy trenches where they tackled 21 Germans in a large dug-out. In spite of the fact that rifle and revolver fire was directed at them from the dug-out these two went in returning the enemy fire eventually killing seven and disarming and capturing the remainder. Throughout the raid this N.C.O. proved absolutely fearless and set a splendid example of gallantry. He has already been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry on GALLIPOLI.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184
Date: 14 December 1916


Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal - ANZAC

'On 25th April, 1915, during operations near Gaba Tepe, for conspicuous courage and initiative in returning from the firing line under heavy fire, collecting reinforcements, and assisting in leading a successful bayonet charge to the top of a hill, which was eventually held against great odds.'
Source: 'London Gazette' No. 6544
Date: 3 July 1915

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Biography contributed by Geoffrey Gillon

John Edward Kenyon

It is not clear quite where in England he was born-CWGC have him as having been born in Berkshire, but his attestation papers state Hampshire.

Aged 34 on enlistment, he declared Kyogle as his palce of residence and his occupation as 'Bush Worker' which probably translates to Forestry worker.  He cited a friend in Brisbane, a Miss E Halstead, Blackall Terrace, Brisbane, Queensland, as his next of kin.

He declared previous service in the British Army's Rifle Bridade.

He was appointed Lance Corporal on enlistment.  He landed at ANZAC with the 9th Battalion which was poart of the Covering Force.  He was decorated for bravery twice in relatively quick succession for the time;  awarded the DCM at ANZAC for his role in leading an attack near Gaba Tepe, and then the following year whicle the Battalion was being phased through 'The Nursery' sector near Fleurbaix (later to become infamous as Fromelles)  in France he was awarded the Military Medal for his role in a raid on German lines.

He was killed the following month when the 1st Division led the attack on Pozieres.  He has no known grave like many of his colleagues from that action.