Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Norman Kennedy

Norman KennedySerial Number and Rank:  366A, L/SGT
Birth:  Bonnie Veiw Milton 5 September 1889 1889/34315
Parents:  Donald Kennedy and Jessie Adcroft
Enlisted:  Milton 5 January 1916
Next of Kin:  Mo. Jessie Kennedy of Casino
Service:  33rd and 36th Battalion
Death:  KIA 30 August 1918
Burial:  Peronne Communal Cemetery France
Honour Rolls:  Kendall Cottage Memorial – To Our Fallen Comrades
Croobyar Public School
RSL Honour Roll
Milton Town Memorial
Milton Methodist Church
Milton Methodist Flag
Milton Congregational

AWM Notes: Studio portrait of 366 (later 366A) Corporal (Cpl) Norman Kennedy, 36th Battalion, of Milton, NSW. An architecture student prior to enlistment, he embarked with B Company from Sydney aboard HMAT Beltana on 13 May 1916. After completing courses in bayonet fighting and physical training in England, he was promoted to the rank of Lance Sergeant (L Sgt). Proceeding with his unit to France in January 1918, L Sgt Kennedy was transferred to the 33rd Battalion in April. On 30 August 1918, L Sgt Kennedy was killed in action near Peronne, aged 28, and was buried at Peronne Communal Cemetery, France.

Norman Kennedy was born September 5 1889 at Bonnie View, Milton. He was the son of Donald Kennedy and his wife Jessie nee Adcroft. Norman was from a large family of two brothers and ten sisters. Norman completed his enlistment application on 29 December 1916 at Milton. He was enlisted effective from 19 January 1916 at the Liverpool Camp in Sydney, at the age of 26 years 3 months was initially assigned to the 1st Battalion.

At the time of his enlistment his address was given as Milton with his next of kin listed as his mother Jessie Kennedy of Dalley Street, Lismore. His enlistment papers recorded his occupation as being a Farmer. His Enlistment Papers showed he had served 5 years in the Light-Horse militia at Richmond River and resigned his commission as a Lieutenant when he left the district, to move back to Milton.

He was re-assigned to 36th Battalion, B Company on 2 May at the Liverpool camp. On 2 May he was given the rank of Acting Corporal and 9 days later, on 13 May, he was promoted to Lance Sargent. Norman with the 36th Battalion and their 1st Reinforcements embarked aboard the HMAT A72 Beltana on 13 May 1916 from Sydney for England.

The Battalion disembarked at Plymouth on 9 July 1916 and proceeded to the Lark Hill Camp, Durrington Camp, Salisbury Plains, in Wiltshire. Norman was transferred to the 9th Training Battalion at Lark Hill.  After extensive training in bayonet fighting and physical training his Battalion, with other units of the 9th Brigade, proceeded to Le Harve, France, via Southampton, in November 1916.

Norman was with the Battalion during the famed Battle of Messines in Belgium. This battle started at June 7 1917 when 19 underground mines were exploded along the several mile front line from south of Messines to the north near Ypres. During this battle the 36th Battalion suffered 430 casualties. Norman came through the battle unharmed.

Norman was then transferred to the 9th Training Battalion at Longbridge Deverill in England in August 1917. He was appointed to the Permanent Cadre of that unit, attending a school of instruction at Tidworth in Bayonet Fighting and Physical Training.

Norman, on November 8 1917, was transferred to the Overseas Training Brigade at Codford and proceeded back to France, via Southampton. He marched into the Australian Infantry Base Depot at Rouelles the next day. He stayed there for 4 days before proceeding to re-join the 36th Battalion on 7 February 1918.

He was with the 36th when they, along with all units of the 3rd Australian Division, were rushed from the north west of France to the Somme region in March 1918. This was due to the enemy break-through of the British lines and their advance toward Amiens.

During the first week of April his Battalion were heavily engaged in the battle to defend Villers-Bretonneux. The companies moved into action. It was the last time the 36th Battalion was to fight as a unit. Norman was promoted from the rank of Corporal to Lance Sergent on April 17 1918.

He was transferred from the 36th Battalion to the 33rd Battalion on April 30 1918. This was because the 36th Battalion was disbanded due to the large number casualties suffered by all units of the 9th Brigade during the defence of the village of Villers-Bretonneux, France.

Norman was with the 33rd Battalion during the advance toward Morlancourt (north of the Somme River) during May, the defence of Villers-Bretonneux during June and July, and the famed “all arms” large scale attach south of the Somme that commence on August 8 1918. Once again he safely came through these battles unharmed.
However on 30 August 1918, Lance Sergent Norman Kennedy was killed in action, near Hindleg Wood, near Curlu, France, aged 28 years, and was buried at Peronne Communal Cemetery, France.
Other men who served with the 33rd Battalion with Milton Ulladulla connections include William Booth, George Richardson, Oswald Davis, Charles Nichols and Andy Bond.

Norman’s name is listed on the following Honour Rolls:
– Kendall Cottage Memorial – To Our Fallen Comrades
– Croobyar Public School
– RSL Honour Roll
– Milton Town Memorial
– Milton Methodist Church
– Milton Methodist Flag
– Milton Congregational

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