Arthur Kennewell is one of the men named on the Bottesford ‘church list’ of WW1 Servicemen. He was also recorded on the Bottesford list of Absentee Voters 1918.
Arthur Harry Kennewell was born in 1894 and baptised on the 6th January 1895 in Bottesford. His father was John Thomas Kennewell, who was born in 1867 and baptised at Stoke Rochford, Lincolnshire, on the 28th September 1867. His mother was Sabina Jarvis, born in 1867 in Redmile. His parents married in 1893 in Basford, Nottingham. They had only two children, Arthur, and his sister Mildred, born in 1900.
His father was a railway platelayer. In 1901, when Arthur was 6 years old, his family was living in “Jasmin Cottage” at the junction of Belvoir Road and the High Street. By 1911, they lived in a house at 20 High Street. Arthur was now sixteen, and employed as a ‘cow boy’ on a local farm.
The Absentee Voter information is augmented by his Medal Index Card. He served with the Royal Artillery, having the rank of Bombardier. In 1916, he received severe but not life-threatening shrapnel wounds, as reported by the Grantham Journal. A report on the 26th August 1916 stated, “We understand that a shrapnel shell burst in the gun-pit, wounding six men, Bomb. Kennewell among them. Although receiving several wounds, his life does not appear to be in danger, and he has been able to write a cheery letter home.” The reference to “a cheery letter” was repeated a week later, when he was referred to as “Bombardier A.H. Kennewell, RFA.” There is also evidence that he had earlier been a Bombardier in D/152 Battery, RFA. A later report (Grantham Journal 31st March, 1917) referred to him as Acting Corporal 223191 RGA, indicating that he had been transferred and given a provisional promotion by this date.
A group of photographs of Bombardier Kennewell has been contributed by Mrs B. Peacock.
Arthur Henry Kennewell was awarded the Victory and British Medals. His Medal Index Card records him as being a Bombardier in 231 Battery, RGA. He saw action in the Gallipoli landings and in Europe.
Life after the war
After leaving the army, Arthur returned to Bottesford, and was living on the High Street in the early 1920s. His mother, Sabina Kennewell, died in 1919 and was buried at Bottesford on the 6th February that year, aged 52. John Thomas, his father, died in a railway accident six years later and was buried on the 6th July 1925, also at Bottesford, aged 58. Arthur remained single until the year after his father’s death, when he married Sarah Elizabeth Johnson in Bingham registration district. Mildred Kennewell was also married in 1926, on the 26th June, to William Sutton, son of Philip Sutton, at Bottesford. She died in Bottesford in 1979.
In the 1939 population register, Arthur and his family were recorded living at Hawton Grange Cottage, near Newark. Here lived Arthur, a railway platelayer born on the 22nd November 1894, his wife Sarah Elizabeth, b.14th June 1895, and six children, Ruby (b.14th June 1926), Vera (b.25th November 1928), John (b.29th August 1930), Alice (b,10th December 1931) and three others.
Arthur Kennewell probably died in Newark December 1978, though the entry in the GRO index of deaths has him as Arthur Harvey Kennewell (a name not otherwise encountered).