Thomas Albert Kennedy was born circa 1915 and was baptised on the 4th February 1915 in the Parish Church at Abramau in the County of Glamorgan. He was the son of Thomas & Dorothy M Kennedy (nee Lewis) who married in the December quarter of 1914, the marriage was registered in the district of Merthyr Tydfil and it spans the boundaries of the counties of Breconshire and Glamorgan.( Merthyr T. Vol. 11a Page 1649). Thomas the elder, was described as a soldier on two baptisms in the Church Registers of Abramau, once on Thomas Albert’s entry and again on the baptism of Mervyn George s/o Thomas & Dorothy May Kennedy, 1, Railway Terrace, Soldier on the 2nd March 1916.
The early years of this little family are unknown to me as the next census after the 1911 was 1921 and has yet to be published, so I cannot check where they were in the intervening years, except that Ivy M Kennedy’s birth in 1929 was registered in Bridgend (Vo. 11a Page 1282), so it must have been after that.
Roland who is the webmaster of https://wlssealand.wordpress.com/about/ has told me that Thomas Albert was the big brother of his Auntie Elfie who was born in the March quarter of 1920 (Merthyr T.Vol. 11a Page 2079). Many thanks to Roland for filling in some of the gaps in Thomas Albert’s family history.
I do not know about how or when the family came to live here, except that the Welsh Land Settlement was created to help the unemployed in the depressed areas of South Wales and other parts of the United Kingdom that were badly hit. Any information would be gratefully received.
The next time we see the family is when they are seen on the National Register which was taken on the 29th September 1939, living at 17, North Green, Welsh Land Settlement , Hawarden, Flintshire, Wales. This source gives us vital information, especially their dates of birth. Thomas Kennedy was born on the 14th August 1884 and he was a Land Worker. His wife Dorothy May was born on the 24th November 1896 and was also working on the land. Their son Vincent Kennedy’s birthday was the 30th June 1923 and he was single and a Butcher’s Messenger. Their daughter Ivy M. Kennedy* had been born on the 26th June 1929 and was “At School.” There were two redacted or closed records, so I do not know who they were, but they wouldn’t have been Thomas Albert as he had been born much earlier and usually, but not always, the redacted records were because they were of a small child.
*Ivy M. Kennedy was to marry a Leonard G. Druce in Willesden in the September quarter of 1951 (Willesden Vol. 5f Page 823), the district Willesden is in the county of Middlesex.
Thomas Albert was to meet his sweetheart Ivy J. Lewis and marry in the December quarter of 1939, which again, confirms that he was already in the R.A.F. and living in the Pembroke area in that quarter, which September is part of (Pembroke Vol. 11a Page 3849).
Thomas Albert was to be trained as a Leading Aircraftsman in the R.A.F., so must have joined really early or even before war broke out as he was to lose his life so early in the war. He was probably at R.A.F. Pembroke Dock, which was a R.A.F. Seaplane & Flying Boat Station:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Pembroke_Dock He was with 210 Sqdn. Royal Air Force when he went on the fateful tragic journey in 1940.
They were flying in a Short Sunderland Mk 1 Flying Boat N9022 when the accident happened on the 27th December 1940.
His crew were:-
Aircraftman 1st Class
AUDSLEY, JOHN SWINBURNE
Service Number 646551
Aged 19 – Son of Frank Swinburne Audsley and Beatrice Maud Audsley, of Ely, Glamorgan.
CRAWSHAW, LAWRENCE EDWARD
Service Number 751624
Aged 21 – Son of Joseph and Kathleen Crawshaw, of Tilehurst, Berkshire.
HOFFEN, JOHN GERARD
Service Number 537498
Son of John and Mary Hoffen, of Llandaff, Glamorgan.
Service Number 817057
Son of William Ogston, and of Janet Geddes Ogston, of Aberdeen.
PERKINS, ALFRED KORTRIGHT
Service Number 649616
ROBERTS, CLIFFORD CHARLES IVOR
Service Number 968757
THOMSON, NOEL EDGAR
Service Number 40926
210 Sqdn. Royal New Zealand Air Force
Son of Arthur Dudley Thomson and Gladys Annie Thomson, of New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand.
MEGGITT, IVOR HENRY
Service Number 40633
210 Sqdn. Royal Air Force
Son of John Pogson Meggitt and Elizabeth May Meggitt, of Austinmer, New South Wales, Australia.
INSCRIPTION – ONE OF THE FEW
Buried at OBAN (PENNYFUIR) CEMETERY (Only Ivor Henry was buried here, no more bodies must have been found.)
Location: Argyllshire, United Kingdom
Number of casualties: 70
Cemetery/memorial reference: Sec. I. Grave 23.
Please see:- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Short_Sunderland
The above Forum, which has helped tell Thomas Albert’s story is wonderful and I wish to give my thanks to all there so we can know the story of what happened that fateful day.
On December 27th, 1940, N9022 crashed in a night landing off Maiden Island, north of Oban Bay, when returning from a patrol. The aircraft alighted successfully but immediately hit an object in the water which ripped open the aircraft’s hull and flipped it over on its back. F/L Ivor Meggitt (Australian), and nine of those aboard, including a naval officer, were presumed drowned. The only survivor, though injured, was F/O D.A. Stewart. The object was probably one of the several horse boxes, with dead animals inside, which were lost when a merchant ship. the SS “Breda”, was damaged in a Luftwaffe raid on shipping in Ardmucknish Bay on December 23rd. The dead horses acted as bouyancy aids keeping the boxes near the surface and they were a lethal thing to hit in a thin-hulled Sunderland landing at speed. Meggitt and crew had been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Also on :- https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8393452 the Record of Events 210 Sqdn.
But although N9022 is mentioned several times re other flights, there is only 1 line that mentions that flight and MEGGITT and STEWART, not the rest of the crew, taking off at 11.5? and landing at 21.17 – “A/C crashed on? ????hting at OBAN.” (Watermark covers the ?’s in the report.) (Page 2).
Also on this document – pages 1 and 2, but dated 1st December 1940, so not the crash details, but describes the work they did. Page 8 describes the flight :-
http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/D8393451 – Both can be downloaded from the National Archives at £3.50 per copy.
Thomas Albert was loved and missed, especially by his widow Ivy J. Kennedy, but also by his large family as they made sure he would be remembered by adding his name to the Hawarden WW2 War Memorial.