William Houston Kennedy was born on 5th July 1873.
The 1881 Census for Scotland on Ancestry.co.uk shows that the Kennedy family was living at 27, Soho Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland. The Head of the household was Daniel Kennedy aged 33. He had been born in Renfrewshire, Paisley and was a Fish curer by trade. His wife was Jane aged 31. She had been born in Edinburgh, Midlothian. Their son, William Houston aged 7 had been born in Glasgow. Also listed at this address was Agnes Kennedy, a niece, aged 19 who was a Mill Worker by trade. She had been born in Manchester, Lancashire. Also, Matthew Kennedy, a nephew, aged 13 and a scholar who had also been born in Manchester. There was a Servant named Jane Brown aged 14 who had been born in Glasgow.
Unfortunately I cannot find the Kennedy family on any census forms after this time.
I found a William Kennedy on a passenger list from Liverpool to New York in 1904 on The S.S.Majestic. (UK Outward Passenger List 1890-1960) I cannot say conclusively that this is William Houston Kennedy.
William Houston Kennedy’s army records tell us that he enlisted into 2nd Depot Battalion, 1st Central Ontario Regiment in Toronto, Canada on 22nd February 1918. He gave his trade as Fireman (stationary).His next of kin was listed as as William Kennedy, (Cousin) address, Oak Street Police Station, New York City. William’s current address was 10, Tillary St, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
He stated that he was a Widower but I have been unable to find any trace of a marriage.
William undertook basic training in Canada and embarked from Quebec on board The HMT Themistocles bound for London, England on 10th September 1918 and arrived on 25th September when he was posted to Whitley Army Camp to complete his training.
As hostilities were coming to an end, William was transferred to Kinmel Army Camp in Rhyl on 19th January 1919 to await repatriation to Canada.
Tragically he died of Valvular Disease of the Heart during admission to no, 9 General Hospital, Rhyl, just before midnight on 6th April 1919.
Kinmel Park Camp was a segregation camp used to house Canadian Soldiers awaiting repatriation to Canada after the end of WW1. Unfortunately the conditions at that time were extremely harsh with a lack of every kind of commodity, the camp was overcrowded and the services were poor, there were shortages of clothing, food and blankets. As a result of this situation, a vast number of servicemen and women became ill and many succumbed to the Influenza Epidemic or complications associated with this infection.
William is buried in St. Margaret’s Cemetery, Bodelwyddan.
He is commemorated on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.