Compiled and Copyright © Steve Fuller 2004
Herbert was born 11th December 1883 at 10 School Lane in Kettering, Northamptonshire. His father, George Thomas Clarke Kendall was a Shoe Presser and his mother was Martha Annie Kendall (formerly ‘Roughton’).
In 1901 his family were living in The Woolpack Inn, Kettering. His father was the 45 year old Publican and his mother was 40 years old His 4 brothers were Harry Norton (18), John Roughton (15), Ernest George (13), and William Thomas (1). Alice Roughton also lived there, being listed as a 20 year old ‘Domestic Servant’.
Herbert became a ‘Stonemason Journeyman’, moved to Heath and Reach, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire and married Ellen Elizabeth Hack (also from Heath and Reach) on 11th September 1909. Between 1910 and 1915, they had 4 children; Annie Elizabeth, Hilda Georgina, Herbert George and Evelyn. Herbert enjoyed performing ‘Light Opera’, notably Gilbert and Sullivan, and travelled considerably with his family according to his work.
In August 1914 (aged 30) he enlisted into the British Army. After training, he was assigned to 1st/5th Battalion (TF) The Bedfordshire Regiment and went to The Balkan’s, landing at Suvla Bay in Gallipoli on the 10th August 1915. He took part in the 15th August attack on ‘Kidney Hill’ (along the Kiretch Tepe Ridge) and other smaller actions before a stomach wound in October and a subsequent operation in No. 5 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Egypt returned him to England.
He recovered and returned to the 7th Bedfordshire’s in France sometime during the Summer of 1916. The 7th were part of the 54th Brigade, 18th (Eastern) Division, which including the 6th Northamptonís and 11th Royal Fusiliers. In addition to the ‘normal routines’ of training, fatigues and holding the trenches, they were involved in major engagement during July and September 1916, February, March, May, August and November 1917 and March 1918.
On the 21st March 1918, the German Army launched a massive offensive called ‘Operation Michael’ which opened with a devastating artillery and gas barrage at 4.30am. The Battalion were in Divisional Reserve initially, but by the 23rd they had endured 2 difficult days of fighting, as the British 3rd and 5th Armies were hit hard. The 54th Brigade recorded only 14 officers and 425 men that night surviving from its original strength of around 2,500.
Herbert was Killed in Action on Saturday 23rd March 1918, near St Quentin in France. He was 34 years old and left a wife and 4 children. He has no known grave but is remembered on the Pozieres Memorial to the Missing and the Kettering Memorial.
Herbert Charles Kendall is pictured here with 3 of his 4 children outside the church at Heath and Reach in the Spring of 1916 whilst still recovering from the wound sustained in Gallipoli; from left to right, Hilda Georgina, Herbert George (known as George) and Annie Elizabeth. His youngest, Evelyn is not present. This is the last known picture of him, and the one his children kept a copy of. Sadly, his last surviving child, Herbert George Kendall passed away on 22nd December 2003.
(Prepared by Steve Fuller, proud Great Grandson of Herbert Charles Kendall)
5 November 2004