Paul Kennedy is in the back row, third from the left. Courtesy of AWM (A00920)

Lance Corporal Paul Duncan Kennedy

Pakenham & District War Memorial

Born: 16 May 1883 - Newstead, Victoria                        Enlisted: 20 October 1915 aged 32

Unit: 2nd Field Company Engineers (SERN: 5073)        Served: Western Front.             

Died: 26 April 1940 - Dandenong, Victoria


Paul was the son of Alexander Kennedy and Mary Ann McNaughton of Pakenham. Paul was a 32 year old farm labourer working for Alex Crichton in the Gembrook / Mount Burnett area (1) when he enlisted in October 1915. He was assigned to the 13th Reinforcement, 2nd Field Company Engineers as a driver and left Australia for Egypt a few days before Christmas 1915. Not long after arriving there, Paul was hospitalised in Cairo suffering from the mumps. in June 1916, he was sent to the Western Front (2), where the Engineers were responsible for providing vital infrastructure support and constructing roads, bridges, light railways, tunnels, trenches and other defences (3). In February 1917, Paul was appointed as a lance corporal. In August 1918, he received what was probably much needed leave in Paris and another spell in the UK a few weeks later (4). By the time Paul rejoined his unit in France, the War was virtually over. Following the end of the War, he was appointed as a temporary Corporal, then a temporary sergeant, although he reverted to the rank of Lance Corporal for the return voyage back to Australia. Paul arrived back in Australia on 2 July 1919 and was discharged in Melbourne on 25 August 1919 (5). 


According to the electoral rolls, Paul was a farmer in Pakenham until around 1927, after which he is listed as a labourer in Dandenong. His address there was “Pickett’s Coffee Palace” (6). In 1931, Paul married Millie Birkin. By that time, he was working as a linesman with the Postmaster General’s Department (7). The couple later settled on the Frankston Rd at Dandenong, where Paul farmed (8). He died suddenly in April in 1940 aged just 56 (9).


(1) NAA B73 R70180 

(2) (4) & (5) NAA B2455 KENNEDY PAUL DUNCAN 

(3) https://www.awm.gov.au/articles/blog/australian-engineers-in-the-first-world-war 

(6) Ancestry.com.au - Electoral Roll - Flinders - Dandenong 1928 p. 42

(7) Ancestry.com.au - Electoral Roll - Flinders - Dandenong 1931 p. 46

(8)  Ancestry.com.au - Electoral Roll  -Flinders - Berwick 1934 p. 30

(9) Narre Warren & District Family History Group (2016) p. 55​