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Southwater War Memorial


Name Henry James KENSETT
Regiment Private 5388 Royal Fusiliers
Died 10th April 1917
Age 36
Cemetery Orange Trench Cemetert, Monchy-le-preux D22
Family Lived at Trawlers Farm, Southwater
In 1915 Henry James Kensett was a gamekeeper by trade. He signed up for the 13th Bn Royal Fusiliers as Pte SPTS/5388. The 13th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers had been formed at Hounslow on 13th September 1914 as part of Kitchener's 3rd Army and attached as Army Troops to 24th Division. The battalion actually landed at Boulogne on 30th July 1915 but as the Medal Rolls have no record of a 1914/15 Star, it is not likely that Henry saw service until at least the beginning of 1916. The 13th Bn RF were part of 111th Brigade of 37th Division and were on the Somme for Oct/Nov 1916, specifically at the Battles of the Ancre Heights (1st Oct-11th Nov) and the Battle of the Ancre
(13th -19th Nov). There are accounts which show that some of 111th Brigade's battalions were loaned out to other formations, so Henry might not have been in all of 37th Division's activities but would have certainly been involved in some.
What we do know is that he was with his battalion at the beginning of April 1917. From the War Diaries we know that on the 9th April 1917 the battalion was in the second line of troops sent to attack north of the Arras-Cambrai Road. It subsequently suffered heavy losses from shell and shot when advancing on Monchy and by 7.40pm on the 10th only three junior Officers plus the CO and his Adjutant were left. 10 Other Ranks also died and Henry was one of them. A total of 19 OR were killed over three days of fighting and they are all buried at Monchy. Henry was awarded the Victory and British War Medals for his sacrifice and is remembered on the War Memorial in Forest Row (where his wife was living) as well as at Orange Trench Cemetery, Monchy le Preux.
Thanks to Barns Green “Service and Sacrifice” by Merve Goddard

Orange Trench Cemetery, Monchy-le-preux, FRANCE