Biography

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
Final rank: Private
Service number: 4195 - First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion

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 and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 20 December 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Photograph

044957

Sydney, NSW. 1938-04-23. A group portrait of Victoria Cross recipients who were invited to Sydney by the United Licensed Victuallers Association (ULVA) to march as a group in the 1938 Sydney Anzac Day march. This gesture by the ULVA was part of the Australian sesquicentennial (150 years)...

044957

072966

Port Melbourne, Vic. 1918. Australian Victoria Cross winners from World War 1 invited by the Prime Minister of Australia, The Honourable W. M. Hughes, to return home to assist in a recruiting campaign. The photograph was taken as the ship HMAT Medic was berthing. The identified men are, from the...

072966

D00014

Informal portrait of 4195 Private Thomas James Bede Kenny VC, 2nd Battalion. Kenny won his Victoria Cross for his action during an attack on the village of Hermies, France, 9 April 1917.

D00014

D00014A

Portrait of 4195 Private Thomas James Bede Kenny VC, 2nd Battalion. Kenny won his Victoria Cross for his action during an attack on the village of Hermies, France, 9 April 1917.

D00014A

H00175

A montage of nine portrait photographs taken at Westham camp. In the centre is a group portrait of fifteen Australian soldiers and is surrounded by individual portraits of eight of the men who are in the group portrait all of whom had been awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). The central group...

H00175

J03075

1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE ANZAC DAY MARCH IN MELBOURNE, WAITING TO ENTER THE EXHIBITION BUILDING, WHERE A COMMEMORATION SERVICE WAS HELD. LEFT TO RIGHT: CAPTAIN R.C. GRIEVE, 2ND LIEUT W. RUTHVEN, CAPT J.E. NEWLAND, 2ND LIEUT J. HAMILTON, LIEUT. A....

J03075

J03076

MELBOURNE, AUS. 1927-04-25. AUSTRALIAN VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS WHO TOOK PART IN THE 1927 ANZAC DAY MARCH. IN THE BACKGROUND ARE THE KING'S AND REGIMENTAL COLOURS OF THE A.M.F. BATTALIONS AND REGIMENTS. LEFT TO RIGHT:- CORPORAL (CPL) B.S. GORDON MM, CPL T.L. AXFORD MM, CPL J. CARROLL, SERGEANT...

J03076

P00843.005

SYDNEY, NSW, C. 1930. A GROUP OF VICTORIA CROSS (VC) WINNERS MARCH (PROBABLY ON ANZAC DAY) BEHIND A RETURNED SERVICEMEN'S BANNER. FAR LEFT (LIGHT SUIT, PARTLY OBSCURED) T.J. BEDE KENNY, GEORGE J. HOWELL (CARRYING BANNER), JOHN HAMILTON (WEARING HAT), FAR RIGHT CARRYING COAT UNIDENTIFIED. (DONOR A....

P00843.005

P02939.017

Portrait of Private (Pte) Thomas James Bede Kenny VC, 2nd Battalion. Pte Kenny was awarded the Victoria Cross for "most conspicuous and devotion to duty when his platoon was held up by an enemy strong point, and severe casualties prevented progress" on 9 April 1917 at Hermies, France. Pte Kenny,...

P02939.017

P00398.001

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, 1918-10. ABOARD THE TROOP TRANSPORT 'MEDIC' TEN VICTORIA CROSS WINNERS OF THE FIRST AUSTRALIAN IMPERIAL FORCE WHO WERE INVITED BY THE PRIME MINISTER OF AUSTRALIA, W.M. HUGHES, TO RETURN TO AUSTRALIA TO ASSIST IN A RECRUITING CAMPAIGN. BACK ROW, LEFT TO RIGHT: SGT. W. PEELER,...

P00398.001

Heraldry

Victoria Cross : Private T J B Kenny, 2 Battalion, AIF

Victoria Cross. Engraved reverse suspender and cross with recipient's details and date of action.

REL/13559.001

George VI Coronation Medal : T J B Kenny, VC

George VI Coronation Medal. Unnamed as issued.

REL/13559.004

British War Medal 1914-20 : Corporal T J B Kenny, 2 Battalion, AIF

British War Medal 1914-20. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/13559.002

Victory Medal : Corporal T J B Kenny, 2 Battalion, AIF

Victory Medal. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/13559.003

Private Record

Crooke, Cyril Ednott (Lieutenant, b.1892 - d.1965)

Collection relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Cyril Ednott Crooke, Australian Flying Corps (AFC). Collection consists of a leather bound sketch book featuring detailed water colour paintings produced between 4 March 1918 and 24 September 1918. It depicts aeroplanes, troopships,... Maker: Crooke, Cyril Ednott

3DRL/2497 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Sketch book of Cyril Ednott Crooke, 1918

Sketch book relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Cyril Ednott Crooke, Australian Flying Corps. The bound leather drawing book features detailed water colour paintings produced between 4 March 1918 and 24 September 1918. It depicts aeroplanes, troopships, Leeds Castle, Australian...

RCDIG0000352

Timeline

Date of birth 1896-09-29
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1915-09-14 Posted as a reinforcement to 2 Battalion.
Date of embarkation 1915-12-20
Date of honour or award 1917-04-09 Awarded Victoria Cross for action at Hermies, France whilst serving with 2 Battalion, 1 Brigade, 1 Division as a Private
Date promoted 1917-04-09 Appointed Lance Corporal.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-04-12
Date promoted 1918-08-01 Appointed Corporal.
Date wounded 1918-08-26 Wounded during fighting in the Merris sector near the town of Mereten.
Date returned to Australia 1918-10
Date of discharge 1918-12-12
Date of death 1953-04-15