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Kenneth Sanders THOMPSON


Rank Reg/Ser No DOB Enlisted Discharge/Death Board
2 Lieut 29y 31/03/16 31/8/18 KA 6

2nd Lieutenant Kenneth Sanders Thompson (1887 - 1918)

Booklet 

Family background 

Kenneth Sanders Thompson was born at Strathfield, New South Wales on 27 March 1887, son of Mr Herbert Samuel Thompson and Mrs Grace Mary Thompson of North Sydney. Kenneth had brothers Eric, also in Brisbane, and Corporal Wilfred George Thompson, serving in France.

He married Nellie Jean Scott, daughter of Mr and Mrs Herbert W. Scott, Hayslope, Yerongpilly, and granddaughter of Mr and Mrs G.  F. Scott, on Tuesday 27 April 1915, at Cracknell Road Congregational Church, Annerley.  Their baby daughter, Joan Margaret was born on 10 February 1916.

Officer training

At the age of 29 years, Ken Thompson, a product salesman, joined a special draft for officer training at Enoggera on 31 March 1916. The Special Draft of Australian Imperial Force officers from Queensland departed from Sydney nearly two years later, on 2 March 1918 aboard RMS Ormonde.  2nd Lieutenant Thompson disembarked at Suez on 4 April and left Egypt at the end of that month per SS Ellenga for Southampton.  He proceeded overseas to Rouelles, France on 16 August.  He marched out to his unit in the 42nd Battalion on 19 August and was in the field of battle the next day.  

Battle of Mont St Quentin

Lieutenant Thompson was to take part in the ferocious battle to capture Mont St Quentin on 31 August and into the next day.  His short service for his country ended abruptly as he was killed by enemy machine gun fire during operations near St Quentin on 31 August.

Military historians writing of the Battle of Mont St Quentin and nearby Péronne, both keys to German defence of the Somme River, fought over 31 August to 5 September 1918 as significant Australian victories. They helped bring the Great War to an end but with heavy cost of the lives of many young Australian soldiers, Kenneth Sanders Thompson among them.


Select Bibliography

•    National Archives of Australia, military records
•    The Queenslander, 29 May 1915, 20 October 1932
•    The Brisbane Courier, 21 April 1915
•    Australian War Memorial, Canberra, military records
•    Bill Billett, Mont St Quentin, A Soldier’s Battle, Rosenberg, Dural, 2009
•    Peter Stanley, Men of Mont St Quentin, Scribe, Melbourne, 2009
•    Archives, St Andrew’s Uniting Church, Brisbane, 
•    Congregational Year Books, 1909 – 1919
•    State Library of Queensland – images where cited


Compiled by Noel E. Adsett, Brisbane.   September 2014.

 

 

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