Bernard William Kenny

Date of birth: 8th April 1892
Place of birth: Southampton
Regiment / Division: Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve
Vessel:  Nelson
Rank / Service No: Sub Lieutenant
Died: 19th December 1915, aged 23 years
Commemorated: Helles Memorial, Turkey


Bernard was the youngest of 9 siblings born to William Charles and Lucy Kenny (nee Connolly), who married in Kensington in 1876.

The couple evidently moved to Southampton soon after the wedding, judging by the birth location of their oldest child.


Lucy was born in Pimlico in 1851 and she passed away in Millbrook in 1898.

William was born in Bayswater in 1848. After Lucy’s premature death, he married Florence Bodenham in Brentford in 1900.


The couple had 3 children, meaning William fathered 12 children in total.


William died in Southampton in 1922.



Lucy Agnes   b. 9 August 1877 Millbrook   d. 1965 Brighton

William Edwin   b. 1879 Millbrook    d. 1890 Millbrook

Frances Elizabeth   b. 18 April 1880 Millbrook   d. 1971 Tonbridge

Edmund Couche   b. 1885 Millbrook   d. 2 February 1947 New York   Married Hilda Witting in Santiago on 24 November 1920. Married a Ms. Richtenstern in Vienna sometime between 1931 & 1935.

Dorothy   b. 1887 Millbrook   d. 1922 London

Barbara Mary   b. 1887 Millbrook   d. ??   Married Eric B. Smith in Marylebone in 1918.

Marie GERTRUDE   b. 1888 Millbrook    d. ??

Charles Aloysius   b. 1891 Millbrook   d. 1966 Isle of Wight

Bernard William 

Half sister Agnes M.   b. 11 March 1904 Freemantle   d. 1946 Bridport   Married Henry R. Galpin in Hamadan, Iraq between 1931 & 1935.

Half brother Philip Laurence Bodenham b. 1906 Freemantle   d. 1977 Bournemouth

Half sister Florence Mary   b. 2 July 1909 Freemantle   d. 1992 Hitchin   Married Anthony O’Donovan in Westminster in 1934.


The Nelson Battalion was part of the 5 Battalion in the 2nd Royal Navy Brigade at the outbreak of war, formed as a Royal Navy Division, from Royal Navy and Royal Marine reservists & volunteers who were not needed for service at sea.


Bernard was commissioned as a Temporary Sub Lieutenant on 12 February 1915, and he was drafted for the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 28 June 1915.

He joined the Nelson Btn at the same time, from the 2nd Reserve Battalion.


By September 1915, he was overseas with his unit. In early September, he contracted dysentery. He was transferred to a Red Cross hospital in Cairo on 7 September, convalesced on Cyprus for 2 months and returned to his battalion on 11 November 1915.


He was on operations in the Dardanelles when he was accidentally killed by a British artillery shell which dropped short of its intended target.



Researcher: Mark Heritage
Published: 6th October 2016


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