Ge­orge an­swers the war­time call from Down Un­der – part three

Argyllshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

As the cen­te­nary of the sign­ing of the ar­mistice to end the First World War ap­proaches, the Ar­gyll­shire Ad­ver­tiser is pub­lish­ing a series of ex­tracts from a war­time diary with a dif­fer­ence.

The diary be­longed to black­smith and en­gi­neer Ge­orge Kennedy, who em­i­grated from Scot­land to Aus­tralia in 1912, aged 31, with his wife and baby daugh­ter. Ge­orge, and many oth­ers, an­swered the call to re­turn to Bri­tain and did so in 1917 to help the war ef­fort in the man­u­fac­ture of mu­ni­tions.

Ge­orge Kennedy was the un­cle of In­ver­aray woman Jenny Speirs, who kindly al­lowed the Ar­gyll­shire Ad­ver­tiser ac­cess to her un­cle’s records.

His diary records an ar­du­ous and event­ful three-month jour­ney back ‘home’. A fleet of trans­port ships was leased by the Com­mon­wealth gov­ern­ment for trans­port­ing the Aus­tralian Im­pe­rial Force per­son­nel to their over­seas des­ti­na­tions. These ships were also used to carry var­i­ous goods to Bri­tain and France. The fleet was made up of Bri­tish ships and cap­tured Ger­man ves­sels.

Ge­orge Kennedy as a young man be­fore em­i­grat­ing to Aus­tralia in 1912.

Above, the Suf­folk HMAT A23 troop­ship which col­lided with Ge­orge Kennedy’s ship ‘Ulysses’ in Dur­ban har­bour.; and right, Ge­orge Kennedy’s ne­ice Jenny Speirs, still hale and hearty and liv­ing in In­ver­aray.

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