Posted 09 April 2012 - 08:12 AM
Hi Carolyn, I am trying to find out more about my Great Grandfather - Hugh Kennedy – Kings Own Scottish Borders – regimental number8291
I would really appreciate any help in finding out about his time as a POW - I dont know which camp he would have been in. I know he was posted missing 26th August 1914 and was not repatriated until 7th December 1918. I have his Pension Record which, along with other research, has helped me put together the story below.
Standing in front of King's Own Scottish Borderers Depot in Berwick, Hugh Kennedy was a long way from home. Hugh hadn't followed his father into the textile industry which was in severe decline at the start of 20th century. Down the pits at 17, hauling the coal up from pit face to exit point, perhaps didn't suit Hugh. He enlists in KOSB 15th June 1903, confirmed 17th June 1903, and the army wasted no time in with his first post 21st August 1903, from deduction this was to Belfast. Hugh had enlisted for 3 years Army Service followed by 9 year Reserve Service - no one would have guessed at that point of the horrors to come. Before 6 months had passed Hugh was appointed L. Cpl (Leutenent Corporal) on 29th January 1904 and was granted increase service pay. Just 11 days later, 9th February 1904, 400 men of KOSB were moved from Belfast to Newry to continue training ostensibly in an area with more room to manoevre. Hugh, it seemed, enjoyed more than just the change of venue. He was 3rd Class Army School Certificate on 28th June. However it wasn't all training and in his time around the town, Hugh met Florence Marshall. After a whirlwind romance they were married 3rd October, probably at St Mary's Church of Ireland, Newry. The marriage record indicates Hugh's occupation as labourer rather than soldier. All seemed to be going well for Hugh, progressing in the army and new wife however in March 1905 some incident occurs that results in Hugh being demoted back to Private, he forfeits his service pay.
His three years served Hugh is transferred to Army Reserve 15th June 1906. Florence would have been 5 months pregnant with Henry, born 8th October 1906. It may have been at this time, they moved to Glasgow, London Road. Hugh seems to have returned to mining, at least he is recorded as miner in the valuation role of 1913-1914. Sarah ann was born September 1908 and unfortunately had a brief life being recorded as deceased 23rd May 1916. She died from TB after being ill for 6 months. Hugh, was bord 2nd June 1911 followed by John 5th October 1913.
11 years and 56 days after he first enlisted, the KOSB was mobilized and Hugh with them, 5th August 1914. He received his posting 6th August 1914 and by 10th August 1914 Hugh is on the front in France. They must have been straight into action, possibly at the Battle of Mons with its subsequent retreat, and the troops fighting rearguard at Etreux. Before August was out a missing report was been file (26th August 1914) and Hugh is not repatriated until 7th December 1918. Hugh was awarded the British Victory Medal and Star Medal. I don't have any details of what happened during these missing years either to Hugh, nor how Florence coped with 4 children under 9, the death of one whilst Hugh was prisoner of war - were the extended family around Bridgeton able to help?
Hugh was transferred to Class Z Army 19th April 1919, and during this year Flora Anna was born. It was not until 31st March 1920 that Hugh was finally discharged.