Frank Claude Kenniff
Serial No. 936
12th Light Horse Regiment & 1st Light Horse Regiment
Frank Claude Kenniff - Information
Frank Claude Kenniff was born in Douglas Park c1888. Frank had attended Sydney High School, before settling down near Wellington, NSW. At this time, his father, Michael Kenniff, had moved the family to Liverpool. Frank was working as a labourer, when he decided to join the AIF in Liverpool on the 9th of April 1915, aged 27. He was then shipped out as a Trooper with the 3rd Reinforcements, 12th Light Horse Regiment. He departed Sydney on the HMAT Runic on the 9th of August 1915.
Frank’s unit arrived in Egypt, where he was transferred to the 1st Light Horse Regiment. However while training in December 1915, he reported to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital in Cairo with a septic thumb. Unluckily, he then caught the mumps and was admitted to the 4th Auxiliary Hospital in February 1916. He recovered at the end of the month, and was transferred back to the 12th Light Horse Regiment. In 1916, the Light Horse conducted patrols throughout Sinai and Palestine for Turkish forces. As operations spread into Palestine, the citadel of Gaza stood in their way. There were many unsuccessful attempts to capture the bastion. Later in the year, a plan was developed to seize Gaza through a flanking manoeuvre around Beersheba. The attack on Beersheba commenced on the 31st of October. The assault was very difficult, and it was absolutely crucial that the wells were captured or the horses and troops were done for. The 4th and 12th Regiment charged Beersheba at the gallop with their bayonets. However, during the charge, Frank was slightly wounded, but stayed in the fight. Beersheba was taken and Gaza fell in November. In 1918, operations moved into the Jordan Valley, the 12th fighting at Es Salt. However, throughout this period illness plagued Frank. In August 1918, he was at Port Said Rest Camp, when he was rushed to Port Said Hospital on the 19th of August with a high fever and vomiting. By the 22nd, he was dangerously ill and delirious. He died the following day, the 23rd of August. He had contracted bronchial pneumonia and was unable to fight the infection. Frank was buried at the Port Said War Memorial Cemetery, Port Said in Egypt.