Josiah Alexander Chancellor Kennedy, ("JACK")
Regimental Number: 51288

Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
& Royal Irish Rifles 

This Page Last updated: January 15, 2013

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The Challenge

This web site is the second of my "Great War Projects" to record the history of the Laughton and Kennedy families (my grandfathers).  This is the history of Josiah Alexander Chancellor Kennedy ("JACK") who signed up in Canada with the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) as a Private with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI), was wounded and recovered, then rejoined the war as a 2nd Lieutenant and then Acting/Captain with Royal Irish Rifles (RIR) of the British Army.

My first project, which is still ongoing, records the exploits of George Van Wyck Laughton, who won the Military Cross at Vimy Ridge.  I knew this second project, would be tougher, as I did not have the family records and memorabilia that I have for Grandfather Laughton.  What limited information I did have to start came from my Uncle Guiler ("JACK"'s son), who has since deceased.  Additional information came from research at the Library and Archives Canada site in Ottawa CANADA and the National Archives site in the Kew, ENGLAND.  We also contracted to have a Military History completed by Chris Baker, a copy of which is now posted on this web site (see Josiah Kennedy Military Service).  

Thanks also to the many members of the Great War Forum and the Canadian Expeditionary Force Study Group for their valuable input.  In particular, members of the GWF were instrumental in providing background information and records related the Josiah Kennedy, as well as for his brothers William and James.

All of my mother's family records of her father were destroyed in our disastrous 1967 house fire.  As such, we never had a picture of Josiah until this shot surfaced in March of 2008. Thanks to Alan Curragh from the UK.

More of Alan's contributions on the other Kennedy brothers are provided on the Genealogy Page of this web site.

Josiah was one of three (3) of the sons of the Rev. Samuel Guiler Kennedy too off to the Great War.  Private William Kennedy was killed in action on June 17, 1918 and we have now confirmed that James Kennedy was killed in action on March 21, 1918.  The two other sons, Samuel Guiler and Herbert Maurice, were too young to serve in the Great War. 

Photo Courtesy of Alan Curragh
Great War Forum Member "MagicRat"
Royal Belfast Academical Institution

War Record Summary

This web site summarizes my research on my maternal grandfather in the Great War (1914-1918) as seen by Josiah Alexander Chancellor Kennedy (J.A.C.K.). Grandfather Kennedy joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force in Canada, where he trained prior to his embarkation to England for further training. Initially attached to the CEF 30th Battalion (later designated 30th Reserve Battalion and absorbed by the 1st Reserve Battalion) he was transferred to the 16th Battalion (Canadian Scottish).  From there he moved to the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry "Reinforcements" and then to the PPCLI in the field (France) in March 1915. 

On May 10, 1915 Grandfather Kennedy was wounded in the battles at Ypres (Flanders, Belgium) in the vicinity of Bellewaerde Lake. After recovering from his wounds Jack rejoined the Princess Patricia's, but was again struck off strength due to additional medical complications, as described elsewhere within this site.

After travel back to England for medical treatment (including surgery),  Jack completed officers training and then signed up this time not with the CEF and the Princess Patricia's but rather with the Royal Irish Rifles of the British Army. The dates would suggest that this is about the time that the CEF was undergoing reorganization and a number of CEF soldiers were accepting training as officers for subsequent posting to British units. The records show that Jack signed up with the RIR in October 1916 and was later promoted to "Acting Captain" when he took over a Company. He was captured by the Germans in March 1918 and released in November 1918. He was discharged in July 1919.

For both of my projects, I also retained the services of Chris Baker, a war historian and author of "The Long, Long Trail" and founder of the Great War Forum in the United Kingdom.  In April 2006 I received his reports, copies of which have now been posted to this site. For details on that please now go to the new section entitled "Service Record".

You can now follow Josiah Alexander Chancillor Kennedy on the Twitter Community at: 

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