Private Thomas James Bede Kenny

Service Number 4195
Birth Date 29 September 1896
Birth Place Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Paddington
Death Date 15 April 1953
Death Place Australia: New South Wales, Sydney, Concord
Also known as Thomas James Bede Kenny
Final Rank
Units
Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 4 October 1917 on page 2628 at position 2
London Gazette 8 June 1917 on page 5705 at position 2

Bede Kenny (1896-1953) was born at Paddington, Sydney, and enlisted in August 1915, before his 19th birthday. A tall and powerful man, he became a well known member of his battalion and, later, a familiar figure at Sydney's ANZAC Day ceremonies.

At Hermies, Kenny's platoon had to dig in on the edge of the village and engage any enemy attempting to leave. Several men were pinned down by heavy enemy fire before Kenny leapt up and rushed a post, throwing bombs as he ran. Although the first two missed, Kenny's third bomb landed in the middle of the Germans, killing some, while the rest became prisoners. His action made a significant contribution to the capture of the village.

Not long afterwards Kenny was evacuated to Britain with trench foot, and did not rejoin his battalion until May 1918. He received a light wound the following month. Kenny came home on HMAT Medic with other Victoria Cross recipients to a hero's welcome. In later years he was a traveller for a wine company.

Rolls

  • First World War Embarkation Roll

    Rank
    Private
    Place of Embarkation
    Sydney
    Embarkation Ship
    HMAT Aeneas A60
    Date of Embarkation
    20 December 1915
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918

Honours & Awards

  • Honours and Awards:

    Award/Honour
    Victoria Cross
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Unit
    2nd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Private
    London Gazette
    8 June 1917 on page 5705 at position 2
    Commonwealth Gazette
    4 October 1917 on page 2628 at position 2
  • Honours and Awards (Recommendation):

    Award/Honour
    Victoria Cross
    Classification
    British/Australian gallantry awards
    Date of Recommendation
    12 April 1917
    Unit
    2nd Australian Infantry Battalion
    Conflict
    First World War, 1914-1918
    Rank
    Private

Timeline

Date of birth 29 September 1896
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 14 September 1915 Posted as a reinforcement to 2 Battalion.
Date of embarkation 20 December 1915
Date of honour or award 09 April 1917 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at Hermies, France whilst serving with 2 Battalion, 1 Brigade, 1 Division as a Private
Date promoted 09 April 1917 Appointed Lance Corporal.
Date of recommendation honour or award 12 April 1917
Date promoted 01 August 1918 Appointed Corporal.
Date wounded 26 August 1918 Wounded during fighting in the Merris sector near the town of Mereten.
Date returned to Australia 1918-10
Date of discharge 12 December 1918
Date of death 15 April 1953

Find out more about Private Thomas James Bede Kenny