KENNEDY, Frederick Donald James

Frederick, who was born in the Bundarra district, was an eighteen year old labourer when he enlisted at Inverell on 16 December 1915. He agreed to serve from 12 January 1916, the date he joined the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs when they departed from Inverell for the Narrabri and Armidale camps.

As a member of the 33rd Battalion C Company he trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to leaving Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916.  Upon arrival in England further training was undertaken at Salisbury Plain until Frederick was transferred to the 2nd Battalion and sent to France in September.

Just six weeks later he was wounded in action and transferred to 1st General Hospital in England with a gunshot wound to his thigh.  Frederick returned to France in June 1917 where for a second time he was wounded in September when buried by a shell. His military records state that he suffered shell shock after this event.  By November he had rejoined his unit. Seven months later he was wounded in action a third time and invalided back to England with a gunshot wound to his thigh, arm and back.  He was admitted to the Military Hospital, Fovant, England where he died of wounds on 24 September 1918.

Private Frederick Kennedy was given a military funeral with his polished elm coffin placed on a gun carriage for the journey to Haverstock Churchyard, Wiltshire where he was buried. Six men from his unit acted as pallbearers. His medals and few personal effects were returned to his sister Mrs. Mabel Watling in Sydney.

At Inverell Frederick’s name is recorded on the Honor Roll and Cenotaph. He is one of the 215 men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade in 1919.

Photo: provided by family