This Day In History

  • 1775 In the early hours a small British force, including the Grenadier and Light Companies of the 47th (later 1st Loyals) and 59th (later 2nd East Lancashires), sets out from Boston, Massachusetts for Concord, some 20 miles away, to destroy a colonial munitions depot. At dawn at Lexington they are confronted by the local militia and the first shots of the American Revolution are fired. A further engagement follows at Concord where about 500 Militiamen defeat three British companies and force the British column to begin its return march to Boston. Reinforced at Lexington by a relief force including the rest of the 47th, the march is carried out under sustained fire from concealed insurgents, and the American War of Independence has begun.
  • 1854 47th Regiment (later the 1st Loyals) disembark at Scutari, opposite Constantinople, to join the 2nd Division, part of the British Army concentrating in preparation for the Crimean War. They are quartered in the huge Turkish barracks there, later to become famous as the British base hospital where Florence Nightingale effected her nursing reforms.
  • 1880 2nd Afghan War. Battle of Ahmed Kel. 59th Regiment (soon to 2nd East Lancashires) is hard-pressed on the right of the British line.  The Regiment forms square around its colours. It is the last occasion on which colours are carried by a British regiment on a victorious field. Afterwards 1,000 dead lie in front of the British line, with 600 around the 59th's position. The shell-torn colours are now displayed in the Sergeant's Mess of the 1st Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.
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Private Henry Edward Kenny VC

Henry Edward Kenny VC

Henry Edward Kenny VC

Henry Kenny was born in Hackney, East London, in July 1888. In 1915 he was 27 years old and a Private in the 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, in action on the first day of the Battle of Loos.

On six separate occasions he went out into ground swept by very heavy shell, rifle and machine-gun fire to rescue wounded men lying in the open, on each occasion carrying them to a place of safety. On the last occasion, as he handed the wounded man over the parapet into safety, he was himself wounded in the neck.

Henry continued the serve throughout the war, achieving the rank of Sergeant.

During World War II he served in the Home Guard.

Henry Kenny died in Chertsey, Surrey, on 5 May 1979, aged 90.

His Victoria Cross is on display in the Imperial War Museum, London, as part of the Lord Ashcroft collection.