Thomas Henry William Denny

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Thomas Henry William Denny
Thomas Denny in 1923. Cropped from Armadale Kelmscott Road Board photo
Personal Information
Date of Birth c1873
Place of Birth Newcastle, New South Wales
Death 7 Feb 1948, aged 74
Place of Death Mosman Park, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 42 years, 6 months
Description 5'5½" (1.66m) tall ; 196 lbs
88.904 kg
; ruddy complexion ; brown eyes ; dark hair
Occupation Dairy farmer
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Kelmscott, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Charlotte Denny
Military Information
Reg Number 481
Date of Enlistment 18 Jan 1916
Rank Private
Unit/Formation 44th Battalion, C Company / 11th Brigade, 4th Division
Date of Embarkation 6 Jun 1916 ‒ 21 Jul 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A29 Suevic Fremantle to Plymouth
Date of Return 12 Mar 1918 ‒ 23 Apr 1918
Ship Returned On SS Kenilworth Castle England to to Durban
Date of Return 23 Apr 1918 ‒ 13 May 1918
Ship Returned On SS Field Marshall Durban to Fremantle
Fate Returned to Australia
Monument Kelmscott War Memorial (West panel)
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

Married before arrival in WA to Charlotte who died in Victoria Park aged 80 on 11 Sep 1960.

Electoral Roll entries - 1910 an Iron moulder living in Kelmscott with wife Charlotte. In 1916 he had converted to be a dairyman.

Member of the Armadale-Kelmscott Road Board 1915 - 1916.

War Service

Camp Chronicle 27 Jan 1916 lists Thomas amongst many others in an article titled The Call to Colours. Almost immediately after he arrived in camp he was reallocated from the 45th Depot Company to the 44th Battalion and he travelled with them to England for further training before they went to France. While at Larkhill he went missing for 6 hours one night and was caught, losing 5 days pay in addition to being awarded 3 days Field Punishment No.2 (see notes).

He, along with the rest of the 44th Battalion arrived in Le Havre France at 6:30am on 26 Nov 1916 via Southampton. They then travelled by train and by foot to Steenwerck where they were in reserve until they travelled to Armentiès. Here they entered the front lines for the first time on 30 Dec 1916.

On 11 Oct 1917 the 44th Battalion was in deep mud near Augustus Wood on the Keiberg Ridge east of Broodseinde in Belgium having replaced a British unit that had gained some ground (mud) but had failed to consolidate its position. Other units were to attack through it and Thomas was one of a group of five men from 9 Platoon sent back to guide them into position. "After struggling through the mud for awhile, the barrage intensified and forced the party to take cover in two flooded shell holes. While Lt Neumann sheltered in one hole with Private T. Denny, a howitzer shell exploded in the other shell hole and killed Privates E. Stewart and D.J. Smith, who completely disintegrated in the blast. After a futile search in the morass, no trace was found of the men and the remainder of the party continued and completed its mission."[1]

On 2 Nov 1917 Thomas reported to the 8th Australian Field Ambulance with arthritis. On 7 Nov 1917 he was moved to the 10th Stationary Hospital at St Omer after which Thomas was evacuated to England aboard the HS Princesse Elisabeth with myalgia on 17 Nov 1917. In England he was admitted to the Horton War Hospital in Epsom with chronic arthritis. Thomas was granted furlough from 21 Dec 1917 until 4 Jan 1918 after which he reported to No. 4 Command Depot in Hurdcott. On 14 Feb 1918 he moved to the No.2 Command Depot Weymouth from where he returned to Australia

Given his age, Thomas was returned to Australia for a medical discharge with chronic arthritis at the 5th Military District on 31 May 1918. On arrival in Australia he was placed in the 8th Australian General Hospital, Fremantle from 14 - 17 May 1918. Thomas declined further treatment, opting instead for discharge.

Given the time Thomas was in France with his Battalion, he likely participated in battles at Lagnicourt, Bullecourt (2nd battle), Glencourse Wood and Westhoek Ridge. The latter two were near Ypres.

Post War

T.H. Denny, who has recommenced dairying after serving with the A.I.F., in France, secured first with a pen of three heifers, milking strain.[2]

Electoral Roll entries - 1925 1st print lists him as a married dairyman from Kelmscott, while the 2nd print has them at 129 Roberts road Subiaco but still described as a dairyman. In the period 1931 - 1943 dairyman at Kelmscott, before dying in Mosman Park aged 74 on 7 Feb 1948.

On his return to Australia Thomas again was a member of the Armadale-Kelmscott Road Board, serving from 1920 - 25 and 1930 - 41 to go with his previous service from 1915 - 1916. No entries in BDM for children born in WA.

Denny Avenue in Kelmscott was named for T.H. Denny in 1939.


Field punishment could be awarded by a court martial or a commanding officer for any offence committed on active service. There were two categories of field punishment. Field punishment No. 2 consisted of heavy labouring duties, and several hours a day shackled . All offenders awarded field punishment would march with their unit, carry their arms and accoutrements, perform all their military duties as well as extra fatigue duties, and be treated as defaulters.

  1. 'The Westralian Battalion - The Unit History of the 44th Battalion A.I.F., Neville Browning, Advance Press, 2004, page 196
  2. "COUNTRY SHOWS.". Western Mail. XXXIV, (1,767). Western Australia. 6 November 1919. p. 9. Retrieved 22 June 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 

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