Brigadier General Paul Aloysius Kenna VC DSO

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Paul Aloysius Kenna

Birthplace: Everton, Liverpool, Lancashire, England UK
Death: Died in Turkey
Cause of death: killed in the Battle of Gallipoli
Immediate Family:

Son of James Kenna and Julia Kenna
Husband of Lady Cecil Josephine Kenna (Bertie)

Managed by: Michael Lawrence Rhodes
Last Updated:

About Brigadier General Paul Aloysius Kenna VC DSO

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.


  • Rank: Brigadier General
  • Date of Death: 30/08/1915
  • Age: 53
  • Regiment/Service: General Staff Cdg. 3rd Mounted Brigade and A.D.C. 21st (Empress of India's) Lancers
  • Awards: V C, D S O
  • Grave Reference: II. A. 1.
  • Additional Information: Husband of Angela Mary Kenna, of Trowle House, Trowbridge, Wilts. Served in the South African War.


An extract from the "London Gazette." dated 15th Nov., 1898, records the following:- "At the Battle of Khartoum, on 2nd September 1898, Captain P.A. Kenna assisted Major Crole Wyndham, of the same regiment, by taking him on his horse, behind the saddle (Major Wyndham's horse having been killed in the charge), thus enabling him to reach a place of safety; and after the charge of the 21st Lancers, Captain Kenna returned to assist Lieutenant de Montmorency, who was endeavouring to recover the body of second Lieutenant R.G. Grenfell."

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Brigadier General Paul Aloysius Kenna VC DSO's Timeline

August 16, 1862
Lancashire, England UK
August 30, 1915
Age 53