Diamond War Memorial Project

Private Joseph Kennedy

'A' Company, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers. Regimental Number 10092
Born: ---- Died: 1915-05-23 Aged: 21 Enlisted: Omagh.

Interred in Pink Farm Cemetery, Helles. Name commemorated on the Diamond War Memorial. Name also recorded on Christ Church (Church of Ireland), Londonderry, World War 1 Memorial.

Son of Joseph and Margaret Kennedy, 9, Epworth Street, Derry / 124, West Graham Street, Glasgow. Possibly brother of Margaret Beattie, who married Thomas Culbertson, second son of Mr and Mrs M. S. Furness, 40, Harrison Road, Edinburgh, on May 9, 1922, at St Andrews' Episcopal Church, Glasgow.

In a letter received from him, by the same post as brought the notification of his death, Private Kennedy mentioned that he had two narrow escapes. 'Two bullets went through my cap, one of them grazing my head all along without cutting me. When I felt the sting of it I thought I was shot. The other one left a black mark on my cap. The same evening, as I was leaving the trench to go into a dug-out in the rear, a shell struck the parapet just on my right front, but, as luck would have it, didn't explode.'

In an earlier letter the young Derry man described the exciting landing of the Inniskillings at the Dardanelles, and the first action. Referring to the annoyance caused by snipers, he wrote ? 'I killed one and wounded another. The sergeant spotted them in the trees with his glasses. He told me to have a shot at 750. The first cut the leaves of the tree, and the next got him. He fell down like a bundle of rags. We saw him later. He was shot right through the head. The other sniper was also in the tree. He fell down head first when I fired, but crawled into cover before I could get another pot at him.' In another passage he described seeing Captain Ridings being wounded almost beside him. 'Some fellow bandaged him up, and I carried him back to cover. I think it is a miracle both of us were not riddled, as bullets were flying all round.'

The name of Joseph Kennedy was read out during a memorial service held in St Columb's (Church of Ireland) Cathedral, Londonderry, on Sunday, August 1, 1915, to commemorate the officers and men of the city of Derry, who had died during the first year of the Great War.

Joseph, Mina and Margaret Kennedy, 9, Epworth Street, signed the 1912 Ulster Covenant pledging resistance to Home Rule for Ireland.