Pte
William Kennett

Information about birth

Date of birth:
05/12/1892
Place of birth:
Coolatai, New South Wales, Australia

General information

Profession:
Miner

Army information

Country:
Australia
Force:
Australian Imperial Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
2938
Enlistment date:
28/10/1916
Enlistment place:
Inverell, New South Wales, Australia
Units:
 —  Australian Infantry, 46th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
01/10/1917
Place of death:
Tokio, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
24

Memorial

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 ‘Place of death’

My story

William Kennett was born in 1892 in Coolatai, New South Wales. He was the son of John Kennett and Mary Ann Mitchell. He had three sisters and two brothers. Before he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force he was a miner, like his father.

He enlisted in October 1916 and joined the 46th Battalion Australian Infantry, part of the 12th Brigade of the 4th Australian Division. The Division participated in the Battle of Polygon Wood, a phase of the Battle of Passchendaele. The attack started on the 26th of September 1917. The advance was to be carried out by the 4th and 13th Brigades of the 4th and the 5th Australian Divisions, while the 46th Battalion remained in reserve. William’s Battalion would not play a major role in the attacks until September 27th, when they moved into the frontline, between Tokio and Jabber House. The Broodseinde Ridge right in front of them.

The Battalion remained there, until the 1st of October 1917. “A” and “C” Companies were positioned in the front line, “D” Company was in close support and “B” Company was in reserve. The right half of the Battalion – near Jabber House - was relieved on the night of September 30th and October 1st. The left half – at Tokio - on the night of October 1st and 2nd of October 1917.

A diary entry from Private N. Pope, from the same Battalion as William, shows that on September 30th, 25 men of “B” Company were killed due to German shelling. On the 1st of October the 46th Battalion was heavily shelled for over two hours.

Twenty-Four year old William Kennett was killed on the 1st of October, while his Battalion held the line near Tokio. He has no known grave and is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, panel 27F.

Files 1

Sources 8

AIF Project
https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=163009
Sources used
Australian War Memorial
https://www.awm.gov.au/advanced-search/people?people_preferred_name=kennett&people_service_number=2938&people_unit=
Sources used
CWGC
https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/924668/kennett,-william/
Sources used
Discovering Anzacs
https://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/person/226430
Sources used
Polanski, I.L., "We Were the 46th: the History of the 46th Battalion in the Great War of 1914-1918", Box Hill, Polanksi, 1999, pg. 56-57.
Sources used
Service Files
https://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/DetailsReports/ItemDetail.aspx?Barcode=7363630&isAv=N
Sources used
Trench Maps
https://maps.nls.uk/ww1/trenches/
Sources used
War Diary
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1339183
Sources used