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About Paul Aloysius Kenna
Brigadier General Paul Aloysius Kenna VC DSO (16 August 1862 – 30 August 1915) was an English born British Army officer of Irish descent and recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that could be awarded to British and British Empire forces.
He was the son of Thomas Kenna, a wealthy stockbroker of Liverpool who was descended from a family of minor gentry from County Meath. Kenna was educated at Stonyhurst College and St. Francis Xavier College in Liverpool - he is honoured in a memorial which can be seen in the main hall of the current college site in Beaconsfield Road, Liverpool.
Military service and Victoria Cross
Kenna was 36 years old, and a captain in the 21st Lancers (Empress of India's), British Army during the Sudan Campaign when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC:
On 2 September 1898, at the Battle of Omdurman, Sudan, when a major of the 21st Lancers was in danger, as his horse had been shot in the charge, Captain Kenna took the major up on his own horse, to a place of safety. After the charge Captain Kenna returned to help Lieutenant De Montmorency who was trying to recover the body of an officer who had been killed.
He later served in the Second Boer War in South Africa 1899-1900, and was promoted a Brevet Major in November 1900.
He competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics for Great Britain as a horse rider. He did not finish the Individual eventing (Military) competition, also the British team did not finish the team event. In the individual jumping event he finished 27th.
World War I
He was killed in action at Suvla, Turkey during the Battle of Gallipoli on 30 August 1915, aged 53 and is buried in Lala Baba Cemetery.
His VC is on display in The Queen's Royal Lancers Regimental Museum in Thoresby Park, Nottinghamshire.
Kenna married Lady Cecil Bertie, daughter of the 7th Earl of Abingdon. He married, secondly, Angela Mary, daughter of Herbert Hibbert. They had one daughter, Kathleen (d. 1998)
His first cousin, Margaret (née) Larkin (grand-daughter of his grandfather Patrick Kenna) married Simon Mangan, HM Lieutenant for Co. Meath. Their grandson was Group Captain Nicolas Tindal-Carill-Worsley.