Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Story of Timothy Cornelius Keneally

Timothy was born in Gordon and worked the family farm when he enlisted on 16 March 1916. He had a brother John who enlisted as a driver and survived the war, returning to Australia in May 1919. Timothy had at least one other brother, but his father had died earlier. His mother was ill in Adelaide for many years.

Almost four months later on 12 July he embarked on the “Seeang Bee” at Outer Harbour and a little less than two months after that he disembarked in Plymouth.
The day after disembarkation, 10 September he was taken on strength by the 12th Training Battalion.
During his period in training, Timothy was admitted to Fargo Hospital with bronchitis in September. Four days after Christmas 1916 he found himself in Codford Hospital for almost a fortnight. He was discharged and shortly afterwards was re-admitted, spending another 26 days in hospital during January/February 1917 then another fortnight there in February/March.
After these multiple periods of hospitalisation Timothy finally embarked from Folkestone for France on 22 May 1917. He spent 17 days at Etaples before being taken on strength by 48 Battalion in mid June.
There is no further direct records of Timothy until he is noted as wounded and missing on 12 October, 1917.
No further information regarding Timothy was heard of by early 1918 and in February a court of enquiry found that Timothy had been killed.

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Keneally was in my platoon. He was fair, about 30 years old, came from S. Australia. We went over at Passchendale on October 12th at about 5.30 a.m. I did not see him again but 2 days later I was told by Pte Arthur Williamson, who was in the same L/G team and Keneally, that he had been with Keneally when he got wounded. A sniper bullet entered his left ear and came out at the bottom of his spine. They were in a shell hole and Williamson had to leave him there after doing what he could for him. We failed to take our objective and Keneally was not seen again although S/Bs were there. Bosches came over that ground later.
Pte H.J.Talbot 4606, St. Johns Hospital, Etaples
21.12.17

[Henry Talbot was in hospital with an inflamed knee. A few days later he was transfered to England where he spent the next 9 months in a training camp, before returning to France just before the Armistice. He survived the war.]
[S/B, stretcher bearer]
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Wounded and Missing 12.10.1917
Was in D. Coy, 16th Pltn, Lewis Gun Section, came from S. Australia. I saw him wounded by a sniper. The bullet went in the back of the ear and came out the small of the back. It happened during the hop over at Ypres, on Oct 12th. We had to retire owing to Fritz counter attacking, and he was left there, and would be taken prisoner if he lived, which I thinkis doubtful. We “Went over” together, and were just getting into a shell hole when he got knocked.
T Harvey 3112,
11.2.1918

[Ex school teacher Tom Harvey gave his statement on furlough in England after leaving France. He remained in a training role in England till May 1918 before returning to France. He also survived the war.]
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I know that T.C. Keneally (48. D. XVI) was killed in an advanced position, before we had to retire, on October 12th at Passchendale. He was very badly wounded and was lying just outside the shell hole where I was – I think he was hit in the head as far as I remember. He was quite out of our reach, and it was impossible to get to him. He died before we retired and was not found. S/B Robinson (48 A) attended to him and bandaged him up. He has since been taken prisoner). Ground was lost.
5302 Sergt. Tom London, 3rd Southern General Hospital, Oxford.
23/5/18

[Tom was in hospital in England with a gunshot wound which had fractured his shoulder. He would recover and be discharged from hospital two months later. He never returned to France.
Also recorded as Loudon.]