ALFRED & WILLIAM THOMAS KENDRICK
Written by Linda Trim
Frankby brothers both killed despite enlistment in different countries
Alfred & Thomas (this is how he was known) were the sons of Walter Kendrick (1868-1921) and Harriet Salisbury (1868-1906). Walter and Harriet married on the Wirral in 1890, and had eight children: George (1891), Alfred, born in Caldy, Cheshire early in 1893 and baptized on March 12th in West Kirby, Amy Ellen (1894), William Thomas, born in the summer of 1896 and baptized in Thurstaston on 16th August, Eveline (1898), Walter (1900), Margaret Hannah (1902) and Harry Leonard (1904).
Walter’s father William, a shoemaker, was born in Arrowe in 1830; Arrowe was in Woodchurch parish, but this tiny village was dissolved in 1933 and split between Birkenhead and Irby. William’s father, Thomas, was also a shoemaker, but his grandfather, who was born in Larton, was a farm labourer who was still working on the land at age 82! Walter did not become a shoemaker like his father, but instead, according to the 1891 census, became an agricultural labourer.
William married an Irby girl, Margaret Moore, in 1858 in Liverpool, where they were living at that time, and had moved to Irby by 1861. Irby was in fact only a short distance from where he was born. After he died in 1888, interestingly, Margaret Kendrick, William’s wife – Walter’s mother, describes herself as a farmer on the 1891 Census. There is no probate record for William, but perhaps he had had a little bit of money put aside, and Margaret then decided she could work a piece of land with her son George in order to provide some income for themselves. Margaret remarried in 1893, a Mr. George Webb, an Irby widower. She died in 1909 leaving a modest estate of just over £70, a little over £5,000 in today’s money.
Walter continued as a labourer for some time, but by 1901 he was a market gardener working for himself in Frankby. His wife Harriet died in 1906 and he did not remarry. In 1911, per the census, fourteen year old Thomas was working with his father as a market gardener, and he most likely continued to do so until he enlisted around March of 1916. Alfred was a cowman for John Smith, a farmer who lived on Station Road in Hoylake, Cheshire.
11th Infantry cap badge
Alfred appears to have been a lad with some get up and go as he emigrated to Australia some time after the 1911 census was taken, and did so without any of his family going with him. We cannot find his travel records, but he was in Western Australia in 1914 working as a miner, and was among the earliest men who enlisted. He attested at Helena Valley, Western Australia, into the 11th Battalion Australian Infantry, on the 4th of September 1914 as Private 680. On his attestation papers he notes that he had served 2 years with the 4th Cheshires, “H” Company, and it was written that he had brown hair, gray eyes and a fair complexion. While he was busy with his new enlistment, unbeknownst to him his older brother George, who was a joiner and home builder, was enlisting in Birkenhead, Cheshire. George joined the Cheshire regiment on 8th September 1914 as Private number 441 and survived the war.
The 11th was the first battalion recruited in Western Australia during the 1st world war, and with the 9th, 10th and 12th Battalions formed the 3rd Brigade. The 11th embarked at Freemantle on H.M.A.T. A11 Ascanius on 2nd November 1914 after only two weeks of training and arrived in Egypt in early December to continue their training. On the 14th December 1914 Alfred was absent a parade without leave and had a two day punishment given to him. While in Egypt the men of the 11th sat on one of the Pyramids at Giza and had their photo taken. Officers sat at the front.
The 11th Battalion sitting on the Pyramid 10th Jan 1915
The 3rd Brigade was the covering force for the Anzac landing on 15th April 1915, at Gallipoli in the Dardanelles, and so was the first ashore at about 04:30. 10 days after the landing a company from the 11th Battalion mounted the AIF’s first raid of the war against Turkish positions at Gaba Tepe. After that the Battalion was heavily involved in defending the front line of the Anzac beachhead.
On 23rd June Alfred was once again in trouble, this time for disobedience: he was caught smoking on the firing line and leaving his post without permission. He got 7 days field punishment. In August the Battalion made preparatory attacks at the southern end of the Anzac position before the battle of Lone Pine, and it was during this period that Alfred lost his life on the 1st August 1915.
He had made his will out on the 4th April 1915 leaving his possessions to his youngest brother, Harry Leonard. Harry received both packages in June 1916. All that there was, the army sent; 3 cards in one package and a tin containing badges in the other. What a sad reflection of one man’s life. He was buried in Shell Green Cemetery No 2 Gallipoli, about 1150 yards South of Anzac Cove. He was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War medal and the Victory Medal.
Shell Green Cemetery, Turkey
Birth: Jan 1893, Caldy, Cheshire
Death: 1st Aug 1915, Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey
Addresses: Irby Hill, Irby (01); Station Road Hoylake (11); Helena Valley, Western Australia (14)
Occupation: Cowman, Miner
Unit: 11th Battalion Australian Infantry
Number and Rank: Private 680
Medals: 1914-15 Star, British & Victory
Commemorated and Buried: Shell Green Cemetery, Turkey; St. John, Frankby, Frankby War Memorial, Grange Hill War Memorial, West Kirby
Sources: CWCG, MC, PR, Prob, BR, SR, Census: 01, 11, Australian War Memorial
WILLIAM THOMAS KENDRICK
Cheshire Regiment Cap Badge
Thomas’ military records are mostly missing, possibly lost in the bombing in WW2, but from an article in the Deeside Advertiser in 1918, we can tell that he enlisted in Hoylake about March of 1916. Conscription started in 1916 and that is probably why he enlisted then. Records show that he was first Private number 4650, then later Private 201743 with the 1st/4th battalion, Cheshire Regiment. His basic training appears to have been done in Shropshire as he married Maud E. Thompson, a carter’s daughter from West Kirby, in August of 1916 in the Oswestry registrar’s district, and a few days later left England to go overseas.
Book of Remembrance
While abroad he had been in the fighting in Palestine and also had contracted Malaria at some point, but made a complete recovery. In 1918, whilst serving in Egypt, where he spent almost two years, he was granted leave to go home to England. We know from a Deeside Advertiser article that is not in good enough condition to reproduce here, that Maud, who was living at 9 Tynwald Road, West Kirby, was making preparations for his visit when she received the news that while travelling through France on his way home, he had been gassed, and subsequently died in the 10th General Hospital in Rouen, France on 2nd August 1918. He is buried in the St. Sever cemetery extension in Rouen. He was awarded the Victory and British medals, but the records show that his medals were sent back, presumably by Maud. Possibly this was to correct the inscription. His father, Walter, died aged 51 in 1921. It does not appear as if Maud ever remarried.
St. Sever cemetery, Rouen, France
Birth: Jul 1896, Frankby, Cheshire
Death: 2 Aug 1915 in hospital Rouen, France; gassed
Addresses: Irby Hill, Irby (01); 2 Tynwald Road, West Kirby (11)
Occupation: market gardener
Unit: 1st/4th Battalion, Cheshire Regiment
Numbers and Rank: Private 4650, 201743
Medals: British & Victory
Commemorated and Buried: St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France; St. John, Frankby, Frankby War Memorial; Grange Hill War Memorial, West Kirby
Sources: CWCG, MC, PR, SR, F, BR, DA, Census: 01, 11