Henry Kendall, was one of the early Australian Poets who’s inspiration was taken from the way of life, landscape and traditions of the countryside.
He was born on April 18 1839 in a settlers hut near Yackungarrah Creek County of St Vincent, he was baptized as Thomas Henry Kendall with his twin bother Basil Edward on July 26 1840. Being a grandson of Rev.Thomas Kendall who first settled at Milton in 1828.
His birthplace at Kirmington Park Milton was officially acknowledged in 1913 and again in 1972 by the students of Milton Public School.
The Stone cairn erected in 1913 whiched survived for many years was eventually disassembled and the stones used for a creek crossing. It was replaced with a sandstone monument in 1972.
The 1913 cairn was built on the site of the bedroom where the poet was born, under the directions of Mr Harry Kendall – only the chimney was left standing of the old house. The monzonite stones used for the cairn were from the nearby creek located on Kirmington Park.
Milton Ulladulla’s interest in Henry Kendall’s birthplace and poetry was resparked by Mrs Mary Nicholls, a local resident and lover of Henry Kendall’s poetry in the late 1960s (now deceased).
There are serious doubts that Kendall’s birthplace and its surrounds had any influence of his writings. This may well be as Kendall’s first published work was in the form of a song, Silent Tears appearing in the Australian Home Companion and Band of Hope Journal, February 1859. Kendall being 20 years old, Kendall and his family lived at Mandnal (Kirmington Park) until 1844, so the poet left this district at the age of five years moving to the Clarence River district.
The Milton Ulladulla Community has honoured him and his birthplace. We may not be able to lay privilege to all of his glory, but we have still honoured his contribution to our literature and cultural history.