The AIF Project


Regimental number2938
Date of birth5 December 1892
Place of birthCoolatai, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressHowell via Inverell, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23/10
Height5' 5"
Weight112 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Ann Kennett, Howell via Inverell, New South Wales
Previous military serviceMember for 2 years, Rifle Club; previously rejected for AIF enlistment on account of chest measurement.
Enlistment date28 October 1916
Place of enlistmentInverell, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name46th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/63/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board SS Port Napier on 17 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll46th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 1 October 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Mary Ann KENNETT. Native of Coolatai, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 17 November 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 29 January 1917; marched into 12th Training Bn, Codford, 30 January 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 3 May 1917; taken on strength, 46th Bn, in the field, 8 May 1917.

Killed in action, Polygon Wood, Belgium, 1 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Age at death24
SourcesNAA: B2455, KENNETT William

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