Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans Day; The Diary of Peter Kenny

Today is Veterans Day, and I'm late with this post.  But, I am squeezing it, and the official holiday observance is tomorrow.

This is the day to honor all veterans, of course.  But it has its root in Armistice Day of World War I, so I tend to think of my maternal grandfather on this day.

Peter Kenny was a Irish immigrant who became of a citizen of the United States in 1915.

In 1917, Uncle Sam drafted him into service.

It's funny that sometimes family stories are like onions - layers come out after many tellings and discussions.

I knew he died of cancer in the 1940s.  What I didn't know - until recently talking with my mother - is that in the end, he was at the V.A. hospital - and the wounded soldiers coming back from the WW II theaters were admiring him for what he had done.

No higher tribute I can think of.

When he was in France, he kept a "diary."  It is really a rough itinerary - a jotting of places he went, nothing deep or revealing.  It was just a pencilled pocket notebook, fading fast - I transcribed it years ago.

I get the feeling he wrote out some of the names phonetically.  And, some names might be hamlet names you wouldn't find on a map.  But someday I want to trace his route on a map - and maybe someday beyond that get to France and follow the journey.

It also includes names - I assume of comrades.  Whether he kept in touch with any of them after the war, I don't know.

If you want to read it, follow the "Read more >>" link...

The Diary of Peter J. Kenny
1918 – 1919

Phillip W. Monagh
81 Mayfield St
Dorchester, Mass

J.F. Engberg
1625 ??? St
Bklyn, N.Y.

Dates 1918

April 22nd  Left Camp Upton, 7 A.M. for S.S. Maurtania
Transferred to S.S. Karmals
April 24th 1918 -------------
Apr 25th Left N.Y. 9 A.M.
May 7th  Sighted land coast of Ireland later coast of Scotland
May 8th  Landed in Liverpool, passed through Birmingham and Oxford detrained at Camp Winchester

May 11th  Paraded in London
May 12th  Winchester to Southampton
May 13th  Left Southamp, crossed the English Channel to La Harve France.
May 17th  La Harve to Ell.
May 18th  Ell. Worgnarue
June 1st  Worgnarue to Gamaches.
July 24th  Lagny Sector frontline Limey
July 31st  Relieved returng to Mannonville
Aug 6th  Mannonville to Pafiny (sur Muse) near Toul.
Aug 16th  Pafiny to ville An val.
Aug 16th  Ville-an-val to Support trenches
Aug 25th  Support to front line a Chateau Dombasle
Aug 28th  Ambush patrol
Sept 2nd  Relieved back to Landremont
Sept 12th  Support trenches St. Michiel sector
Sept 19th  Relieved by the French back to Marbache
Sep 25th  Marbache to Froiders Argonne Forest
Oct 4th  Froiders to Gamgh Brure


Oct 4th – 8th  Reserve for the first army
Oct 8th  Chapentry for the first army corps
Oct 9th  to the dead mans Hill
Oct 10th  Chatel Cherery to Fleville
Oct 11th  Over the top first time
Oct 31st  Relieved by the 77 and 80th Divisions back to reserve

Nov 3rd  Relieved from reserve by the 6th Divisions and left lines
Nov 5th  Laneufor
Nov 7th  Left La Peufor for Pagmy a la Blanche Cote.
Nov 11th  Armistice day
Nov 19th  Arrived in Chassigny.
Feb 28th  Left Chassigny
Mar 3rd  Arrived in Podensack to arbantas
Mr. Ray Thornton
West Harwich Box 76 Mass
Henry W. Edwad, Jr
145 South Main Ave
Scranton Pa.
George G Hammey
2714 S. Jefferson ??
St Louis MO

Aram Bodogian
2343 Marmira Ave
Chicago Ill
John Yurek
714 E. Lundy St
Streator Ill

John Chismorick
Box 457
Mimork Ill

Emil Boehm
Pot Savaca Texas
Route Box 22

Herold Jome
Quincy Miss (Mass?)
Fred Gassman
Washington Illinois

Manriet Nar???
614 Underwood St
Fall River Mass
Chassigny Sunday – Feb 16th
Making flap jacks B. 77

Albert F Gasser
2021a E. O?ear Ave
St Louis Mo

Feb Frid 20th – Left Chassigny
Raymond Rice
1322 N. Railroad Ave
Decatur Illinois

Peter Kenny
Co L 325 Infantry
A. E. F.

Frank Souza
68 Tremont St
North Dighton Mass


  1. Very interesting and grateful Paul. So many more questions than you will likely ever have answers for, but a lot of people don't even have that much to remember their honored ancestors by.

  2. What an heirloom. Thanks for posting this. You have every reason to be proud of your grandfather.

  3. Interesting to see the actual notations. Wow. Nice item to have.