ARTHUR KENNARD

Private, 8557, 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment
Killed in Action during a charge on 6 August 1915 at Krithia, Turkey, aged 24
He has no known grave and is listed on the Helles Memorial, Panel 130
 

The Helles Memorial

Private Arthur Kennard was born in Hartfield on 21 July 1891, the son of Edmund Arthur Kennard (1861-1891) and Annie Maria Kennard (née Greenfield) (1860-1931). He lived at Church Street, Hartfield and later Cairo Cottage, Southwater, Horsham. His mother was described as a dressmaker in the 1901 census and his elder sister Alice was given as a house parlourmaid in London. He also had a brother, Gilbert, born in 1889.

Arthur's pre-war occupation was given in the census as professional soldier He enlisted in the 1st Hampshire Regiment on 1 January 1910 at Portsmouth. In August 1914 the 2nd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment, a regular battalion, were in Mhow, India. On 16 November 21 officers, 43 sergeants, 15 drummers, and 816 rank and file boarded the steamship, Gloucester Castle, and headed for England, arriving at Plymouth 22 December 1914. They moved to Romsey and on 13 February 1915 to Stratford-upon-Avon. They joined the 29th Division and were attached to the 88th Brigade at Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick.

The 'V' Beach landing at Cape Helles, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915, at approximately 06.25 hours.
(Painting by Charles Dixon, from Royal Hampshire Regiment website)

In early 1915 the 2nd Hampshire were supplied with two drafts of men: 181 on 31 January, and 50 on 20 February. It was at first allotted for France, but then was dispatched to Gallipoli, sailing from Avonmouth on 29 March 1915 and going via Egypt. Before they left the whole division passed in review of King George V on 12 March. W and X companies embarked on the troopship, H.T. Aragon, Y and Z in the S.S. Manitou, comprising in total 26 officers, 993 other ranks. They called in Malta and Alexandria, on 2 April, and Lemnos. On 24 April 1915, headquarters, Y and Z companies left Lemnos in the Alaunia for Tenedos, where they transferred to the River Clyde, and headed for Gallipoli, landing at Cape Helles on 25 April.

The day he died was the first day of a series of attacks led by the British and Anzac troops on Helles. It was reported in The London Gazette despatches that the aim was to:

(1) To break out with a rush from Anzac and cut off the bulk of the Turkish Army from land communication with Constantinople.

(2) To gain such a command for my artillery as to cut off the bulk of the Turkish Army from sea traffic whether with Constantinople or with Asia.

(3) Incidentally, to secure Suvla Bay as a winter base for Anzac and all the troops operating in the northern theatre.

At Helles the attack of 6 August was directed against 1,200 yards of the Turkish front opposite the British right and right centre, and was to be carried out by the 88th Brigade of the 29th Division. Two small Turkish trenches enfilading the main advance had, if possible, to be captured simultaneously, an affair which was entrusted to the 42nd Division. It is likely that Arthur Kennard died in this assault.

 

Document listing Arthur Kennard's effects after death, initially going to his mother.
(Source: De Ruvigny's roll of honour)

Arthur Kennard is listed on the war memorial in Hartfield.

Carol O'Driscoll