Kenna Family Australia & NZ :: Genealogy
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Kenna Family Australia & NZ

Journal by janicej0362

I am currently doing research for the local Historical Society and am trying to find out more about Timothy KENNA who enlisted WWI in NZ. Father: John Kenna Mother: Margaret.
Timothy had a brother John or Patrick who was a school-teacher at Cawdor near Camden NSW. A letter from Timothy appeared in the Camden News in 1916. It would appear that Timothy may have had a falling out with family members prior to WWI. I am trying to find out more on Timothy; Which brother was the schoolteacher at Cawdor? Mother's maiden name ? Date of death and location for Timothy ? Did he marry? I believe the family arrived 26 August 1880 "Peterborough" and that Timothy was born c.1879 Tipperary, Ireland.
Any assistance much appreciated

Surnames: KENNA
Viewed: 732 times
by janicej0362 Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-01-05 20:41:46

janicej0362 has been a Family Tree Circles member since Jan 2013.

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by ngairedith on 2013-01-05 21:23:19

hi janice,

on the NZ end of the family, Timothy's brother John Kenna was a Plumber. He also werved in WWI with the New Zealand Engineers Tunnelling Company, 3rd Reinforcements as Sapper 37520, embarking from Wellington 15 November 1916. His next of kin was his brother Patrick of Clifton, New South Wales, Australia

Timothy served as Private 12/2001 with the Auckland Infantry Battalion, 4th Reinforcements, embarking from Wellington 17 April 1919. HIs enlistment address was c/o Mrs Payne, Hobson Street, Auckland. His next of kin was his mother Mrs Margaret Kenna, of Clifton, New South Wales, Australia

so maybe it was John Kenna who was the school teacher

our NSW researchers may be able to be of further help

by ngairedith on 2013-01-05 21:25:23

as you were ...

it was John who was the plumber & served with NZ so it was probably Patrick who was the school teacher :)

by ngairedith on 2013-01-05 23:12:31

a timeline for Timothy Kenna in New Zealand
I would like to add the letter from Timothy which appeared in the Camden news 1916 but Trove is down at the moment. More content will be added when found

Would also be interested in reading your finished article for the Historical Society

kind regards

by janicej0362 on 2013-01-05 23:26:48

Camden News
Thursday, January 20, 1916
In the course of a letter written to his brother, Mr. Kenna of Cawdor School, Pte. T. Kenna of New Zealand Forces, writes as follows: -
''After long years of silence I sent you that postcard, prompted to do so by the fact that when I wrote I was in the trenches at Quinns Post , only 14 yards at its narrowest part from the Turks, and in the midst of slaughter, not knowing when a bullet or shell would quieten me forever. Then thoughts of my own folk came to me and I screwed up the moral courage to drop you a few lines, intending to later on write you a fuller letter. But that night we, the made an advance and I was worn out from fighting, hunger and thirst, and if I had the paper I could not have written, as I assure you things were far more terrible than I can describe, and it took us all our time to dig ourselves into the ground for cover. I was awfully bad with dysentery and as soon as we were firmly entrenched I went to the doctor (Major Craig) and they took me out of the firing line and at once put me on a hospital ship and sent me to Malta, about five days sail. They nursed me like a child both on the ship and in hospital, and I was soon fit and returned to the Dardanelles. However soon had the ill-luck to have a shell explode very close to me, killing several of my chums and wounding, more and burying me up to the chest in earth. The concussion, which was of course intense, paralysed the left side of my face, also paralysed the muscles of my left eyelid, so that I cannot open the eye at all except to lift the lid with my fingers. In addition to that I got enteric fever. I was placed on hospital ship the Dover Castle and brought to England. I am now at Royal Infirmary, Manchester, quite recovered from fever, and am now undergoing treatment and massage. They are putting strong batteries on to me to try and put my eye right, and at the same time let me smile on both sides of my face (I can only smile on the right side, when I am inclined to smile). I think my face is getting right for I can feel a little life in it but I can't yet open my eye only 'with my fingers. The chief surgeon says, however that if it is not alright in a week, he will operate and is confident that I will be OK. He is said to be the finest ophthalmic surgeon in England. I will cable you the result. I must caution you not to take too seriously what news you see in the papers, etc., with regard to men killed, wounded, etc. As a matter, of fact things get fearfully mixed, and after an engagement a man very often gets mixed up with another battalion or with the Australians, and cannot get, back to his own lot. When the roll is called by the platoon commander and you do not answer be puts you down as missing. The news of casualties is then sent by field phone to the beach, and from there to Alexandra by transports or otherwise and is then cabled to N.Zealand or Australia before a chance is given to correct the error and of course it may be a week or more before one can get back to his own lot. I am telling you this for the simple reason that I accidentally picked up a paper here the other day, "The British Australasian" which gives all information concerning Colonial troops, and in it my name appears as wounded and missing." As. a matter of fact, I had been carried away by Australian stretcher bearers to the hospital ship I also saw an old "Auckland Weekly," about three months old in which two brothers in my platoon were posted, as killed, also it gave their photos, and both chaps are very much alive here in this hospital. So dont worry about me, I feel in my fingers that I am going to see it through. If I cant write I will get a nurse to write you, and if I go under I guess the authorities will cable you, but as I have said I feel I will see you all again. I dont suppose I will see the Dardanelles again till the New Year. I will feel pretty miserable when I do get back for nearly all my companions have been killed. My very best pal in New Zealand, the chap with whom I enlisted, was wounded the same day as I, and though he had no less than eight machine gun bullets in him he has only just died. Poor chap, he was the bravest of the brave an Irish Colonial, and the best of chums to me at all times. The people here are kindness itself to us. When the weather is good, and the doctor allows it, they take me out for motor drives for miles and miles and I thoroughly enjoy it. I could fill a newspaper with accounts of the kindness I have received at the hands of the English people, who I shall never forget. I shall give you lots of news when I write again. I am not too strong yet and it takes a lot out of one to do this much.

by ChristopherCKenna on 2015-03-20 23:39:50

Dear Janice

It was so interesting to read the letter in the Camden News (which I will look for also in Trove) - I am sure that Timothy Kenna's brother, the school teacher in Cawdor, was my grandfather, William Kenna who had three children, the youngest of whom was my father Charles (was born in Camden NSW in 1922). I had heard from my aunt, Edna Kenna, about her uncle Tim (my great-uncle) who served in WW1 (I think at Gallipoli) with NZ forces. I have visited the little school in Cawdor where my grandfather William was the only teacher. Sorry I've only just read your and related posts.

Regards, Chris Kenna
Mummumbateman NSW (near Canberra)

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