No. 17/1773, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of wounds on Thursday 2 August 1917 (aged 37)
Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, Belgium (Grave II. E. 7)
Brother-in-law of Rifleman Alexander Dines (No. 6741)
Brother-in-law of Rifleman Thomas Dines (No. 10418)
In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that John Kennedy (No. 17/1773) was born in the townland of Moneyreagh, lived in Newtownards and enlisted in Belfast.
John Kennedy joined the 17th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles and was then posted to the 8th Battalion in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division.
Rifleman John Kennedy (No. 17/1773) wrote his will on 12 July 1916 and in it he bequeathed all of his property and effects to his wife Martha who, at that time, was living in Brownlow Street, Comber.
John Kennedy and Martha Dines (sometimes Dynes) were married on 1 May 1908 in Second Killyleagh Presbyterian Church. John Kennedy from Moneyreagh worked as a labourer and he was a son of John Kennedy, a labourer. Martha Dines from Killyleagh was a daughter of William Dines, a labourer.
John and Martha Kennedy (nee Dines) had at least two children:
Hugh (born 16 May 1909 in Killyleagh)
Mary Ellen (born 15 July 1911 in Corporation South, Newtownards)
Census information provides unsubstantiated evidence about his pre-marriage family circumstances.
In 1901 there was a 21-year old John Kennedy working as a farm servant for John and Ellen Glover who farmed in Moneyreagh.
A John Kennedy was born on 4 May 1879 in Moneyreagh and he was a son of John and Susanna Kennedy (nee Black).
Rifleman John Kennedy (No. 17/1773) died of wounds on 2 August 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres and was buried in Brandhoek New Military Cemetery, Belgium.
His widow Martha had already lost two brothers in the Great War – Rifleman Alexander Dines (No. 6741) and Rifleman Thomas Dines (No. 10418).
There are two John Kennedys with Newtownards connections who were Riflemen in the Royal Irish Rifles and only one of them is listed on Newtownards and District War Memorial – either Rifleman John Kennedy (No. 7264) or Rifleman John Kennedy (No. 17/1773).