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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William Stephen Kenealy VC, (26 December 1886
29 June 1915) was an Irish recipient of the
Victoria Cross, the highest military award for
gallantry in the face of the enemy given to British
and Commonwealth forces.

William Stephen Kenealy

1 Biography
1.1 Citation
2 References
3 External links

26 December 1886

Born in Wexford, his father John[1] was a colour

sergeant in the Royal Irish Regiment. When his
father retired from the army, the family moved to
the district of Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire
where his father worked as a check-weigher at
Bryn Hall Colliery. Keneally became a coal miner at
age 13. Ten years later, he enlisted into the army,
signing up for 7 years. He joined the 1st Battalion,
Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army as a private in
during the First World War.


29 June 1915 (aged 28)

Gallipoli, Turkey

Buried at

Lancashire Landing
Cemetery, Gallipoli

Years of






Lancashire Fusiliers


On 25 April 1915 west of Cape Helles, Gallipoli,

Turkey, he was 28 years old when he performed an
act of bravery for which he was awarded the
Victoria Cross.
On 25th April, 1915, three companies, and
the Headquarters of the 1st Bn. Lancashire
Fusiliers, in effecting a landing on the
Gallipoli Peninsula to the West of Cape
Helles, were met by a very deadly fire from
hidden machine guns which caused a great
number of casualties. The survivors, however,
rushed up to and cut the wire entanglements,
notwithstanding the terrific fire from the
enemy, and after overcoming supreme
difficulties, the cliffs were gained and the
position maintained. Amongst the many very


United Kingdom


British Army


World War I
Gallipoli Campaign


Victoria Cross

gallant officers and men engaged in this most hazardous undertaking, Capt. Willis,
Serjt. Richards, and Pte. Kenealy have been selected by their comrades as having
performed the most signal acts of bravery and devotion to duty.
The London Gazette (No. 29273), 24 August 1915[1]

William Keneally's grave at

Lancashire Landing
Cemetery, Gallipoli

Private Keneally was one of the six members of the regiment elected
by their colleagues in the regiment for the award, and described in
the press as 'six VC's before breakfast'.[2] Lieutenant-General Sir Ian
Hamilton, the overall Allied army commander at Gallipoli ordered
that the beach be renamed Lancashire Landing because of his
conviction that "no finer feat of arms has ever been achieved by the
British Soldier or any other soldier than the storming of these
The other five members of the regiment who received the award as a
result of the landing were Cuthbert Bromley, John Elisha Grimshaw,
Alfred Joseph Richards, Frank Edward Stubbs and Richard
Raymond Willis.

Shortly afterwards he was promoted to corporal and then lance-sergeant. He was seriously
wounded in the Battle of Gully Ravine on 28 June 1915 and died the next day.

1. Keneally, William (, Commonwealth
War Graves Commission
2. Lancashire Fusiliers at (
3. UK Ministry of Defence website, Gallipoli Day (

Listed in order of publication year

The Register of the Victoria Cross (1981, 1988 and 1997)
Clarke, Brian D. H. (1986). "A register of awards to Irish-born officers and men". The Irish
Sword XVI (64): 185287.
Irelands VCs ISBN 1-899243-00-3 (Dept of Economic Development 1995)
Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
Irish Winners of the Victoria Cross (Richard Doherty & David Truesdale, 2000)

External links
William Stephen Keneally (
GRid=10363225) at Find a Grave
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