Joseph Glen Kennerley - "The bullets has been whistling past our ears and thudding into the ground all the time but one thudded into me instead."
Viewing entries in
My Family Story
This album of photographs gives insight into the life of soldier in training at Trentham.
Read the story of two brothers from the Manawatu who went to war.
We had a rough time of it that night, there wasn't enough blankets to go round and a lot of the boys did not even get a rest. My mate and I huddled in a corner, but we couldn't sleep it was too cold. When we got up about seven o'clock out feet were like lead - the feeling had absolutely left them. This is a hard camp we thought. Trentham was bad enough but Sling is fifty times harder than that.
"We read of war even in Heaven. The whole cosmos needs to be cleansed. It is not everyone who is fit to be a soldier in the Invisible.... It is from this point of view that we should regard the passing hence of our sons. They are reinforcements for the Armies of Light in some other part of the field."
This album has the usual snaps of camp life and tourist shots of exotic cities, but it also contains some of the more disturbing elements of war like public hangings and corpses piled in the sand.
Percy was born in Leicester in 1894, making him in him early twenties when he began his training at Trentham Camp. He was working in Eketahuna at that time as a farm hand. He served overseas with the New Zealand Field Artillery, at first in the 12th Reinforcements, later in the 13th Reinforcements. He also drove ambulances during the war.
A large portrait of John Leo O'Keefe, thought to have been made before he went away to the Western Front.
Local man John Leo O'Keefe went away to war in May 1916, and came home three years later to the month in May 1919. He sent letters home to his sister, Lena of Palmerston North, some of which are shown here. These letters were donated by Viv and Des O'Keefe as part of the My Family Story project, along with a photograph of their father in the trenches at the battle of Le Quesnoy.
Just a few lines to let you know that I am still alive + well. We are having a good trip though the weather is getting cold again now.
Thursday October 1926
"No loved one stood beside him
To hear his last farewell ;
No word of comfort could have
From those he loved so well."