Young, Kenneth Jack (Private, b.1894 - d.1918)

Accession Number PR03200
Collection type Private Record
Record type Collection
Measurement 6 wallets: 12 cms.
Object type Letter, Postcard, Document
Maker Young, Kenneth Jack
Place made At sea, Belgium, France, United Kingdom: England
Date made 1916-1918
Access Open
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Item copyright: Copyright expired - public domain

Public Domain Mark This item is in the Public Domain

Copying Provisions Copying permitted subject to physical condition
Source credit to This item has been digitised with funding provided by Commonwealth Government.

Collection relating to 614 Private Kenneth Jack Young (also known as Billy), 43 Battalion, First World War. Collection comprises approximately 100 letters written by Young to his family during 1916-1918 and two letters from Miss Nicholson about the return of Kenneth's possessions to his parents; as well as postcards, souvenirs, and a New Testament. Pte Young died on 4 July 1918 from wounds received while fighting on the Somme.

History / Summary

Young's early letters have a light and cheerful tone. They describe his voyage on the SS Afric and impressions of Albany and Egypt as well as an overland journey through France. Young is stationed at Salisbury Plains and takes trips to London, Glasgow and Edinburgh. His letters report the "wonderful sights" and the people on these trips and he uses Scottish colloquialisms and French phrases. Young mentions conscription and "shirkers" in several letters with a strong pro-conscription stance, and writes "I do hope that volunteers are not mixed with conscripts". Young displays excitement about being sent to France in November 1916, and after his first exposure to the war, writes, "to be in hearing of some of the guns, it does seem strange". Young was hospitalised with bronchitis soon after and spent the next three months convalescing. In April 1917 Young was sent to Belgium but was admitted to hospital in May with a mild heart disorder. Young gives details of the Convalescent Camp in Bologne. He returned to England in July. Young becomes distressed with the news of casualties and the destruction caused by the war, and gives an account of an incident at 3 Signal School, Wiltshire, in July, where the entire camp refused orders to go out on parade from the dining room and was confined to barracks for seven days. Young shares some thoughts about death in war before returning to the battlefield in France in May 1918. . He died of wounds at Hamel, France, in July 1918.