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Alexander Smillie Kennedy diaries

Alexander Smillie Kennedy diaries

Having enlisted to serve on December 13, 1914 Corporal Kennedy 8/1528 embarked on board the Aparima with the 3rd Reinforcements of the Otago Infantry Battalion on February 14, 1915 and arrived in Egypt 6 weeks later. His pocket size diaries travelled with him, and recorded his daily activities and experiences. He was injured at Gallipoli and while taking shelter he wrote:  “To lie in a swallow dug-out with shells berating to the right, to the left, near one’s head, near one’s feet & to hear the groan of men who are stuck & to express the feeling is impossible”. He recovered enough to go on to serve in France for the duration of the war, reaching the rank of Temporary Major.

Returning to New Zealand, he was finally decommissioned on February 9, 1919 having served a total of 4 years and 59 days. He then returned to his pre-war occupation, teaching primary school children in Methven, married and raised a family. When World War Two broke out he again enlisted and served on the Homeguard.  Kennedy died in 1976, his son Professor Miles Kennedy, former Dean of the University of Canterbury  Faculty of Engineering, donated facsimile copies of the diaries to Macmillan Brown Archive the following year.

Identifying number: 
MB581- 79156

Author: joanna.condon_6030