BERTIE KENNELL

image from the Suffolk Chronicle & Mercury – 1918.

 

Born: 1893, Rushmere St. Andrew’s, Suffolk.

Died: 22nd March 1918; age 25; KiA.

Residence: 231, Felixstowe Road, Ipswich.

Occupation: Messrs. Tollemache’s Brewery, Ipswich.

Enlistment Location: Ipswich.

 

Rank: Private; Service Number: 22843

Regiment: Suffolk Regiment, 11th Battalion.

 

Medals Awarded: Victory & British War.

 

Memorial Reference:IMG_6760

Bay 4,

Arras Memorial,

Pas de Calais,

France.

 

CENSUS

 

1901   The Street, Rushmere St. Andrew’s, Suffolk.

 

Bertie was 8 years old and living with his parents & brother.

Samuel Kennell, 43, a Platelayer on the Railway, born Rushmere St. Andrew’s, Suffolk.

Charlotte Kennell (nee Whiting), 44, born Cransford, Suffolk.

Walter Kennell, 12, born Rushmere St. Andrew’s.

 

1911   Post Office Corner, Rushmere St. Andrew’s, Suffolk.

 

Bertie was 18 years old, and a Gardener – Domestic. He was living with his parents.

Samuel, 53, a Platelayer – G.E. Railway.

Charlotte, 57.

 

Soldiers’ Effects to Charlotte Kennell – mother.

Bertie is also remembered on the war memorial at St. Bartholomew’s Church, Ipswich.

Suffolk reg

 

Suffolk Regiment, 11th Battalion:

Suffolk Regiment Battalion movements

SUFFOLK REGIMENT MUSEUM

Friends of The Suffolk Regiment

 

The German spring offensive commenced on the 21th March, following the collapse of the Russian front and the imminent influx of American forces entry to the Western front. The 11th Battalion held the line along the Sensee Valley. “A” and “C” Company held the front with “B” and “D” in support. At 05:00hrs a heavy artillery bombardment commenced with the use of “Minenwefer” and the whole area was heavily gassed. The bombardment cased little casualties yet the destructive consequences on the trench system. Shortly after the bombardment the first German attack broke into the trenches, all being repelled by 07:00hrs, on the left of the line.

At 15:00hrs a new intense 30 minute bombardment commenced, followed by waves of German advances Northwards across “C” Company’s front, which soon took a heavy toll on the German numbers, with “B” Company giving fire support.

The attack on the lines had now become serious and recognized as a major offensive. Strafing German aircraft and shelling on the support lines hampered the 11th Battalion. By sunset “C” Company had pulled back and reformed a new line of defenses. It was reported the Germans had now reached the outskirts of St. Leger, the Battalion formed up on the old Hindenburg support line. Efforts were then made by engineers to destroy fortifications and tunnels so not to let them fall into the enemies hands, petrol being poured into mine shafts, causing a great spectacle of thirty foot tongues of flames and bellowing black smoke.

Fierce fighting continued relentlessly throughout the night in the defense of the Henin Hill on the Hindenburg line, near Croiselles, the 11th Battalion seeing its heaviest bombardment and struggled to hold the line as the morning came. Throughout the 22nd the second line was probed as the Germans broke in repeatedly. Beating off repeated attacks, a block was formed, by 19:00hrs Lieutenant  W. R. Hall M.C, who displayed coolness under fire being wounded and killed. Lieutenant T. C. H. Woods being killed in the withdrawal. The Battalion now moved to the third line with “A” Company under the cover of darkness in front of Boyelles. By the 23rd the remnants of the Battalion were withdrawn to Ayette taking over 200 casualties in March most between 21st-22nd.

The German offensive displayed new fighting tactics of the Stormtrooper and continued to push forward with great momentum, until the 18th July, when the Germans had lost large numbers of men and had depleted its reserves of men and ammunition.

Many bodies were never recorded and were lost in the fast moving frontline. No known grave and the soldiers only being mentioned on “Bays” on memorial panels in the area to which they were lost. Every year a party from Ipswich visit Arras to pay their respects.

Ipswich man FREDERICK CHARLES MOULL from 11th Battalion also killed on this day.

 

 

 

 

 

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