William Thomas KENNY

Year of Birth:  1894

Place of Birth:  Cooktown Queensland

Date of Enlistment:  2 September 1915

Date and Place of Embarkation:  31 March 1916, Sydney NSW

Ship:  HMAT Star of Victoria A16

Rank:  Acting Corporal

Unit(s): 25 Infantry Battalion

Regimental Number:  4480

Died:  5 August 1916


Acting Corporal William Thomas Kenny – photo courtesy AWM


William Thomas Kenny, son of George James Kenny and Rosena Cathleen Bollard was born 21 May 1894 in Cooktown, Qld. His three siblings were Elizabeth Lilian Louisa born 28 August 1896, James Alexander Charles born 6 December 1898 and Fanny Georgena born 24 July 1910.

William Thomas’s parents were married in 1893 and in 1903 they were living in Irvinebank, according to the electoral roll. His father James (George James) was a police constable and they were living at the Police Quarters. By 1913 the family was living in Cooktown and James (George James) had changed his occupation to a miner.

His father, George James Kenny, born on the 22 March 1865 in Cavan Ireland, died on the 14 December 1927, his mother Rosena Cathleen survived until 1973.  Both are buried in Martin Street Cemetery, Cairns.

William’s brother, James Alexander (NAA: B2455 RN 3324) also enlisted in the army on the 31 March 1917 at the age of 18 years 3 months, 7 months after William was killed. Although wounded in action he fortunately survived the war.

William Thomas Kenny was residing in Cooktown at the time of his enlistment on the 2 September 1915 and his occupation was a prospector. His next of kin was his mother Mrs. Rosina Cathleen Kenny. His age was 21 years 4 months, 5 feet 6 ¾ inches tall, had grey eyes, fair hair and fresh complexion.  He weighed 9 stone 12 pounds and his religion was Church of England.

William Thomas Kenny was killed in action at Pozieres on the 5 August 1916.  There is no known grave but he is commemorated on the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, France.


AWM: HMAT Star of Victoria – photo courtesy of AWM


Townsville Daily Bulletin, 4 October 1915,  p5 – Trove


On the 6 October 1916, p5, the Northern Herald printed this following item under the heading “The Soldiers’ Postbag”


Cairns Post, 13 August 1917,  p4 – Trove


Online Resources

Queensland Birth Death & Marriage Index

NAA: B2455 Kenny, William Thomas

Image, William Thomas Kenny, Australian War Memorial

AWM: photo of HMAT Star of Victoria

An Irvinebank Man’s Letter


If you have a photograph or further information about this soldier you would like to share and add to his biography, please add a comment or the Society projects@cdfhs.org

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