Friday, 6 November 2015

Thomas Kenny VC remembered at Wheatley Hill

Gill Parkes writes about the unveiling of Thomas Kenny's Victoria Cross paving stone:

The first of seven paving stones to commemorate County Durham’s First World War Victoria Cross recipients was unveiled on Wednesday 4 November 2015.
Thomas Kenny's granddaughter with the paving stone.  Image © John Attle
Thomas Kenny's granddaughter with the paving stone.  Image © John Attle
The ceremony at Wheatley Hill cemetery took place in a November mist strongly reminiscent of the conditions one hundred years ago when Lieutenant Philip Brown and his observer Thomas Kenny got lost in fog in No Man’s Land, and battled to find a way back to their own lines under enemy fire. Kenny’s bravery in carrying his wounded officer on his back for over an hour before going for help earned him the Victoria Cross.

Hundreds of people, including over 40 members of Thomas Kenny’s family, watched as the stone was unveiled just inside the cemetery gates. Several eyes were dabbed as local schoolchildren recited the same poem that the teachers and pupils of Wingate Catholic School had used in March 1916 at a reception and presentation in honour of their former pupil. 

Here is some video and photo coverage of the occasion:
Commemoration for County Durham war hero, ITV News, 4 November 2015

DLI Museum Friends Blog: Thomas Kenny VC

DLI First World War Victoria Cross hero honoured

Watch video of the commemorative stone unveiling ceremony on 4 November 2015:

It is amazing how events such as this can lead to new discoveries. Two days before the ceremony a pastel portrait of Lieutenant Brown arrived in the Record Office as an addition to the regimental collection, and on the day itself I learned that the long-lost clock and statuettes presented to Thomas Kenny by his former school in 1916 may have been rediscovered. A fitting end to a special day.

No comments:

Post a Comment