The AIF Project

John Edward KENYON

Regimental number741
Place of birthHampshire, England
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationBush worker
AddressKyogle, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation34
Height5' 7.25"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinFriend, Miss E Halstead, Blackall Terrace, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military serviceRifle Brigade
Enlistment date27 August 1914
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentLance Corporal
Unit name9th Battalion, F Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board Transport A5 Omrah on 24 September 1914
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll9th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Distinguished Conduct Medal

Recommendation date: 2 May 1915

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and gazetted, 'London Gazette', second Supplement, No. 29251 (5 August 1915); 'Commonwealth Gazette', No. 133 (28 October 1915).

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 5 July 1916"

FateKilled in Action 23 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records42
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'On 25th April, 1915, during operations near Gaba Tepe, for conspicuous courage and initiative in returning from the firing line under heavy fire, collecting reinforcements, and assisting in leading a successful bayonet charge to the top of a hill, which was eventually held against great odds.'
Source: 'London Gazette' No. 6544
Date: 3 July 1915

Military Medal

'At FLEURBAIX, FRANCE, during the successful raid carried out by 9th Battalion on the night 1st/2nd July, 1916 in company with his Officer was first into enemy trenches where they tackled 21 Germans in a large dug-out. In spite of the fact that rifle and revolver fire was directed at them from the dug-out these two went in returning the enemy fire eventually killing seven and disarming and capturing the remainder. Throughout the raid this N.C.O. proved absolutely fearless and set a splendid example of gallantry. He has already been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for gallantry on GALLIPOLI.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184
Date: 14 December 1916

Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Medals: Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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