Edward James Kennett 1896 – 1918
Edward was born in 1886, to parents Edward and Elizabeth Ann (née Howland) and was baptised on 2nd January 1887 in Minster, in Thanet. Edward senior was employed as a farm labourer at this point.
By 1891 the family was living in Betteshanger and Edward senior was described as an agricultural labourer. In both 1901 and 1911, the family were living in The Street in Sholden. Edward senior was working as a market gardener, with Edward James a gardener, aged 14, in 1901 and a market gardener by 1911.
At some point between then and 1914 they moved to Diamond Farm in Shepherdswell. Edward senior is listed there in the 1914 Dover Directory. Sadly, the Dover Express of 30th March 1917 stated that a petition had been filed in the Canterbury Bankruptcy Court by Edward Kennett of Diamond Farm. Following this, the family lived at the Oast House, Cox Hill.
Whilst Edward James’ enlistment papers appear to have been lost, it is known that he served in the Royal Engineers as a sapper in the 5th Field Survey Company.
He died on 28th October 1918 at the age of 32. He is remembered with honour in the Busigny Communal Cemetery Extension in France.
In the Dover Express dated 31st October 1919, in the ‘In Memoriam’ section, the following was posted:
“Kennett – In loving memory of Sapper Edward James, the dearly loved only son of Mr and Mrs Kennett, of Shepherdswell, killed in action on October 28th, 1918.
Oh! How we prayed for his safe return
And longed to clasp his hand;
But God postponed our meeting
Till we meet in that better land.
From his loving Mother, Father and Sisters”