Able Seaman George William Kennett

Ship: HMS Paragon
Service No: J/23344/PO
Date & place of birth: 1896, Fethard Resident, Tipperary, Ireland
Date & place of death: 18 March 1917 off the Kent coast       

Able Seaman Kennett was slightly unusual in that his family worked on the Petworth Park Estate though they were not local, having come over from Ireland, and also in going into the Navy, when most local recruits went into the Army.

Family background

George Kennett was born in Ireland sometime in 1896 (many Irish records were destroyed by fire in the 1920’s.) His parents were Henry and Mary (sometimes May) Kennett. We do not know when they moved to Petworth  – certainly after 1901 – and they were living in North Street by 1911, when George Senior was a general labourer on the Petworth Park Estate. George had a twin brother Henry, another brother Charles, and sisters Edith and Ethel. He was working as an errand boy in 1911 at the age of 14.

Military career

Able Seaman Kennett enlisted in the Navy and served on the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Paragon.

Death & commemoration

Able Seaman George Kennett was killed or died as a direct result of enemy action when his destroyer was torpedoed off the Kent coast on 18 March 1917. He was 21 years old. His body was recovered and he is buried in St. James Cemetery, Dover.

 Subsequent family history

George’s twin is not found in forces records so presumably did not serve, but cannot be found in death records here so may have moved abroad.

Midhurst U3A WW1 War Memorial Project