James KENNY of Auckland about 1870 had a child Austin Kenny born in... :: FamilyTreeCircles.com Genealogy
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James KENNY of Auckland about 1870 had a child Austin Kenny born in...

Journal by malmal

James KENNY of Auckland about 1870 had a child Austin Kenny born in Auckland. Austin came to Australia about 1890 and married my grandmother Mary Connolly. He was a butcher in Paddington Sydney. They had 4 children Austin, Bede. Berenece and Edward. Stories over here were that James Kenny married a Maori Lady whose name was Margaret E? Even though we have attempted to resolve this happily in the affirmative ( I married a Maori Lady Donna Paku-- perhaps her father was actually Kepa Naera -- another thing to find out ) we are now prepared to join your group of researchers .

Another reason for asking that question about James and Margaret is that the Bede mentioned above became Bede Kenny V.C. who is being further researched.

Surnames: NONE
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by malmal Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-04-17 09:02:10

malmal has been a Family Tree Circles member since Apr 2011. is researching the following names: KENNYJAMESWHOMARRIEDMARGA, KENNYJAMESWHOMARRIEDMARGA, DICKSON.

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by ngairedith on 2011-04-17 18:08:21

hello Edward,

thank you for that info about the Australian hero Bede Kenny.
I would like to share some of Bede's life here for your readers ...

- click all links for much more info into Bede's life -

Thomas James 'Bede' KENNY (1896-1953)
- taken from: Matthew Higgins, 'Kenny, Thomas James Bede (1896 - 1953)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Online Edition

Thomas James 'Bede' KENNY (1896-1953), soldier and salesman, was born on 29 September 1896 at Paddington, Sydney, son of Austin James Kenny, butcher, from Auckland, New Zealand and his wife Mary Christina, nee Connolly, of New South Wales.
Bede Kenny was educated at the Christian Brothers' College, Waverley.
He began to train as a chemist's assistant at Bondi but after three months he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 23 August 1915 a fortnight after the major Australian actions at Lone Pine and The Nek, Gallipoli.
On 20 December he embarked with the 13th Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion, and after arriving in Egypt, served with the 54th Battalion before joining the 2nd on 27 February 1916.
In March he went to France and in the second phase of the battle of Pozieres fought in the battalion bombing platoon.

In spring 1917, as British and Australian forces captured the 'outpost villages' of the Hindenburg line, Kenny won the Victoria Cross.
In the attack on Hermies, mounted by the 2nd and 3rd battalions on 9 April, his platoon came under heavy fire from a machine-gun post which caused severe casualties.
Kenny, single-handed, rushed the enemy, hurling three bombs, the last of which knocked out the post. He then made prisoners of the surviving Germans and his action contributed significantly to the success of the operation.

Kenny was immediately promoted lance corporal and soon afterwards was evacuated to England with trench feet. He rejoined the battalion at Hazebrouck and on 26 June 1918 was wounded during fighting in the Merris sector. Though he described his injuries as 'nothing to write home about' he was invalided to Australia in August, having become a corporal that month. He arrived in Sydney on 9 October to a tumultuous welcome.
He rejected an offer to join the military police, whom he disliked intensely and was discharged on 12 December.

Returning to civilian life, Kenny first worked for Clifford Love & Co., manufacturers, importers and merchants, as their northern New South Wales traveller. He then joined the Sunday Times newspaper in Sydney and shortly after became a traveller for Penfolds Wines Ltd.

He married Kathleen Dorothy BUCKLEY, a florist, at St Mary's Cathedral on 29 September 1927; they had three children and their home is remembered as a happy one.

Kenny repeatedly suffered the effects of trench feet; the war had also made him partially deaf.
He never recovered from the deaths of his elder daughter in 1943 and his only son in 1948 (both from rheumatic fever).

Survived by his wife and one daughter, he died in Concord Repatriation Hospital, Sydney, on 15 April 1953 and was buried in Botany cemetery. It was a bitter irony that the pall bearers at his funeral were military policemen.

Kenny was a staunch Catholic, a vital man of immense character and physical stature. He had no shortage of friends and was often involved in good-natured pranks. Though he never talked openly of his wartime experiences, he always led the V.C. winners in the Sydney Anzac Day march.

In 1957 the Bede Kenny Memorial Ward was opened at Wentworth Private Hospital, Randwick, to provide beds for ex-servicemen ineligible for repatriation hospital treatment.

... you can leave Bede flowers and a note at his virtual cemetery
Thomas James Bede Kenny

by ngairedith on 2011-04-30 12:02:13

any chance it was a 'common-law' marriage between James & Margaret ?

by csnow on 2011-08-21 07:49:43

My grandfather, Thomas Bede Kenny, was also a Butcher in Bondi. He lived in "Burnleigh", Edward Street. I am told he was the brother of Austin Kenny. My mother always spoke proudly about Bede.Thomas came to Australia from Wellington with his wife, Harriet Connor. He died on 1 April 1918. Would anyone have any information on him?

by GWhiz on 2014-09-28 19:46:35

Hi Malmal,

Your James Kenny is my great grandfather on my mother's side. This James married Elizabeth Curtin.

However, I recall hearing somewhere (can't find where, at the moment)that one or two of the Kennys married Maori ladies.

With regard to marriage certificates, I am finding it hard to locate marriage certificates for James and Elizabeth, who were married in 1863. So maybe the records were lost somehow?

I'll keep looking, and let you know if I find anything.

by GWhiz on 2015-11-09 00:54:35

Hi Malmal,

In checking with NZ BDM I found out that Elizabeth Curtin, who was born in Ireland, was also known as Margaret. This might be your Margaret E?

Kind regards,


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