Kerr, Bernard (No. 20949)

Kerr, Bernard

Private

No. 6/3652, Connaught Rangers, transferred to

No. 20949, 9th Battalion, Princess Victoria’s (Royal Irish Fusiliers)

Killed in action on Friday 12 April 1918 (aged 37)

No known grave

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium (Panel 140 to 141)

Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour

BIOGRAPHY

In the Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1919 database it is recorded that Bernard Kerr was born in Belfast and enlisted in Belfast.  Private Bernard Kerr served with the Connaught Rangers (No. 3652) and subsequently with the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers.  He was killed in action on 12 April 1918 and his death was reported in the Newtownards Chronicle under the headline Portaferry Fusilier Killed.

Bernard Kerr was living at 13 Malcolmson Street, Belfast when he enlisted on 4 December 1914.  In his attestation papers, it was noted that he was 5 feet 10½ inches tall and he stated his age to be 31 years 9 months (he was in fact 33 years 9 months).  He joined the Connaught Rangers (No. 6/3652) and on 16 August 1915 was transferred to the 9th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers (No. 20949).

Bernard Kerr and Bella Lennon were married on 7 October 1915 in Portaferry Roman Catholic Church.  Bernard Kerr, a soldier, was a son of Bernard Kerr, a labourer.  Bella Lennon, a seamstress, was a daughter of John Lennon, a labourer.

Bernard and Bella Kerr (nee Lennon) had one child:

Mary Jane (born 6 September 1917 in High Street, Portaferry)

When Private Bernard Kerr died, his wife Bella was living at 1 High Street, Portaferry.  His parents, Bernard and Mary Kerr (nee Graham), were living at 13 Malcolmson Street, Belfast.  They were married around 1877/1878

Bernard Kerr Senior worked as a general labourer and he and Mary had at least eight children:

John (born 30 November 1879 at 37 Springview Street, Belfast)

Bernard (born 26 February 1881 at 23 Springview Street, Belfast)

John Patrick (born 12 June 1883 at 41 Springview Street, Belfast)

Mary Catherine (born 15 May 1886 at 48 Springview Street, Belfast; married Turley)

Arthur (born 22 August 1888 at 19 Springview Street, Belfast)

Roseanne (born 22 September 1890)

Margaret Ellen (Maggie, born 19 June 1893 at 2 Lincoln Street, Belfast)

James (born 13 February 1896 at 45 Malcolmson Street, Belfast)

Private Bernard Kerr was wounded on more than one occasion and was hospitalised in May 1916 with a gunshot wound in his right shoulder.  He was in a Military Hospital; in Alnwick Military Convalescent Hospital and in the King George V Hospital in Dublin.  In November/December 1917 he was hospitalised in the Military Hospital in Portobello Barracks, Dublin.

Private Bernard Kerr was 37 when he was killed in action on 12 April 1918 and he has no known grave.

Private Bernard Kerr is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium and in the Belfast Book of Honour (Page 317).