In 2014 the centenary of the outbreak of World War One, Cumnock History Group began researching the names on the Cumnock War Memorial plus other men and women with Cumnock connections mentioned on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission or in the Cumnock Chronicle of the time. The research is not limited to those who died but also to men and women who served, using family history information.

The group would like to appeal to individuals with knowledge of family members for photographs of the soldier, either in uniform or not, and photos of medals or other memorabilia eg letters sent home from the Front. If you would be prepared to share these on this site, please email the web manager cumnockhistory [at] The group is willing to share any copies of documents found with the soldier's descendants.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Thomas Kennan

Dumfries and Galloway Standard 08 May 1915

From the Scotsman, Wednesday 5 May 1915
Mrs T Kennan, Waterside Place, Cumnock, has received notice from the War Office of the death of her husband, Private Tom Kennan, 2nd Battalion King’s Own Scottish Borderers. The death took place at the fight for Hill 60 on the 18th April. Private Kennan served several years with the colours, in the course of which he was in the campaign in India during the years 1895-98. He held a medal with 3 bars for the engagements he then took part in. His terms of service, as well as his service period, were over, but on the outbreak of war he volunteered for his old regiment.

He had previously served 1895-7 on the North West Front.

Battle of Hill 60

from the Cumnock Chronicle
This obituary states that he was the 4th Cumnock man to die.  Little did they know at the time that things would get much worse.

He was born in Terregles, Kirkcudbrightshire on 20th June 1874 and his wife was Elizabeth Kennan, of 19, Wallace St, Dumfries (by the time the war grave was set up).  She was the eldest daughter of Mr Short of Wallace Street according to the D & G Standard so presumably she went back to her parents.  He died on 18th April 1915.

He is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial at Ypres in Belgium and on the Cumnock War Memorial where his name is recorded as Keenan.  Everywhere else it is Kennan.

Menin Gate photo by Philip McGhee

plaque prepared by Mike Ruddick

Cumnock Connections family tree

His entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission

1 comment:

  1. Thomas Kennan was my Wife's Great Grandfather. We were delighted to find this well constructed site. The depth of information and invaluable links have allowed us to discover more about the man. I'll be happy to forward as much information as we can gather to fill out the profile.

    Mike Ruddick Dumfries 9th April 2014