Clarence Edgar Kenney #22756

Date of Birth: 29Nov.1888 at St.John, New Brunswick

Enlisted: 28 September,1914 at Quebec City,Quebec

Discharge date: Honourable, 5 December1918

Theatre of Service: Canada, Britain, France

Medals and Decorations: 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal


Clarence Kenney was originally assigned to the 12 Battalion C.E.F., but this battalion was disbanded after the second battle of Ypres and he was transferred into the 13th Battalion about May 3, 1915. Kenney transferred next to Divisional Headquarters on June 13, 1915, as acting Corporal. His grandson David believes he was a Military Mounted Policeman assigned to the 3rd Brigade of which the 13th was a component. He was transferred to Canadian Casualty Assembly Centre and returned to England January 7, 1917. He served the remainder of the war as a hospital worker until discharge in 1918. He achived the rank of Sergeant at some point. He was listed as suffering from neurasthemia on 1 Jan.1917, which was a polite term for "shellshock".

Some stories his grandson recalls him telling:

He was in the trench one night and was sharing a smoke with another soldier looking out over No Man'sLand. He said something to the other man and turned his head when a bullet from a German sniper went past his ear. Had he not moved his head he would have been hit.

He mentioned that dead bodies which were in the trenches were eaten by rats.

Being a mounted policeman he was being moved from one area to another and he knew of a horse that was not well treated by a officer who was not part of his unit. He went to a café or bar on the night he was leaving where the officer had tied the horse out front and exchanged horses

He was not fond of the Ross rifle issued to Canadian soldiers at the beginning of the war so he threw his away and picked one up from a dead British soldier during a battle.

He recalled that a bagpiper went crazy in the trenches and stood up on top of the parapet and began marching up and down the trench in full view of the Germans. He was eventually killed by a sniper. This may have been while he was with the 13th.

He told me about how deserters were shot by firing squad. Grandson David has wondered since if this is what made him ill as it was Military Police who were assigned to firing squads .

Like many or even most soldiers of World War I, he was reluctant to talk much about what he saw and experienced for good reason so we will never know anymore than has been told here.

Return to the 13th home page.