William was one of six children and the second son of John and Mary Kennett of Coolatai NSW. Although born in 1892, his birth was registered at Warialda the following year. When he enlisted at Inverell in October 1916 he was nearly twenty four years old and working as a Miner at Howell. William had previously been rejected due to his chest size. He had been a rifle club member for two years.
William was one of thirty two Inverell district men farewelled at a public function where they were presented with the Inverell Medal and a pair of socks. He joined the 46th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement and left Australia on SS Port Napier in November 1916. They arrived in England at the end of January 1917. Three months later he was sent to France and his Battalion took part in the Battle at Messines on 7 June.
Private William Kennett was Killed in Action on 1 October 1917 at the Battle of Polygon Wood, Belgium, and has no known grave. A memorial service was held in his honor in November 1917 at the Anglican Church, Tingha. His name is inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium. His few personal effects and War medals were sent to his Mother. William’s two cousins, Alf Gooda and George Cawkwell were also killed during the War.
William's name has been added to the Inverell WW1 Honor Roll.
Photo: Private Collection