** NEW ** The incredible Dunkirk D.C.M. Group to a Cheshire Regiment Sergeant who became an S.O.E. Captain and was Killed In Action leading a small dingy boarding party of agents onto the shores of the island of Corfu in June 1944. Consisting of: D.C.M. George VI to 4120967 A/L. Sjt. T.J. Kennedy, Ches. R.; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star with 8th Army clasp; Italy Star; WWII Defence Medal; WWII War Medal. With M.I.D. Oak Leaf
Thomas Joseph Kennedy's S.O.E. Record of Service records him as being born on 13 Feb 1910 in Wicklow, the son of Dubliners, Patrick Kennedy and Katherine O'Brien, and lived with his wife, Catherine Kennedy (nee Barton), at 10 Old Mount Pleasant, Ranelagh, Dublin, working as a Manager of a Flour Milling and Bakery Company and attending the Christian Brothers School, enlisting with the 2nd Bn Cheshire Regiment and awarded the D.C.M. for his part in the evacuation at Dunkirk, Gazetted 22 Oct 1940:
"On Saturday 31st May 1940, a section of machine guns was placed under command of TEMPLE FORCE on the left flank east of LES MOERES. All day they were in close contact with the enemy and from 1300hrs were subjected to intense artillery and mortar fore. This section caused great damage to the enemy and remained in action until ordered to withdraw. They were under the impression that from 1300hrs they were completely cut off, but they remained with their guns. By their action they held up the enemy advance, protected the left flank and destroyed many enemy troops. Sergeant Kennedy was the section commander and his four privates the Nos. 1 & 2 of each gun. 24.6.40."
Kennedy was Commissioned as Lieutenant on 10 Jan 1941 from 170th O.C.T.U as top of his class and commanded a Company in North Africa from Alamein to Mareth, where he was Wounded In Action. Volunteering for Special Service, Kennedy joined S.O.E.'s Force 399, C.M.F. on 16 Sep 1943 and then attached to Force 133 M.E.F. as a French speaker with a specialism experience listed of the 'Vickers Medium Machine Gun', 'M.M.G.' and 'Mine Lifting and Laying'. Posted to Palestine in Sep 1943, Cyprus in Nov of the Same year, Kennedy was Mentioned In Despatches on 13 Jan 1944, then posted to Italy as the unit's Conducting Officer in Mar 1944 and Cyrenaica in Jun 1944. According to Force 399's SECRET report of 1 Jul 1944, Kennedy left Brindisi harbour for Corfu at 1930 hrs on 26 Jun with a party of 3 Greek agents: Lt. Trikzatopoulos, Lt. Metallinos and Lt. Saros, a R.N.V.R. officer, Lt. Abelle, and Italian Army MAS 55 Captain Ercolessi. Originally planned to creep ashore on a rubber dingy, a faulty valve meant that a collapsible dingy was used instead. At 0030 hrs, Lt. Trikzatopoulos and Lt. Metallinos crept ashore with Capt. Kennedy and the Naval officer. As the craft touched ashore on a sandy beach, Saros jumped out of the boat and heard a cry of 'Halt' about 15 metres away. Seeing a party of 4 Germans, Trikzatopoulos and Lt. Saros got back into the boat. Capt. Kennedy gave the command to the operational party not to shoot. The Germans were heard to say something and then to open fire with rifles. The party had difficulty in getting the boat afloat and, while paddling away, Capt. Kennedy was hit by a rifle bullet and fatally wounded. Lt. Saros  took over Capt. Kennedy's paddle and he in turn was hit by a rifle bullet and wounded in the left arm. When the boat was about six metres from the shore, Lt. Metallinos fired his Tommy Gun onto the beach and, on firing of the second burst, enemy fire from the beach ceased. Lt. Trikzatopoulos stated that the operation was a blind landing and no lights were shown. The party presumably ran into a German patrol. From the shore, it would have been possible to see the MAS Boat and the landing craft coming ashore.
Capt. Ercolessi added that German sentries had shouted "Halt, who goes there?" from the shore and shooting, and after returning to the ship, 300 yards away, Ack-Ack and machine gun fire from Corfu island and planes going overhead.  'reported on signal from Force 399' as being Killed In Action, shot from the shore whilst conducting a party to the island of Corfu. The CONFIDENTIAL S.O.E. Battle Casualty Form records Kennedy as  'Killed by Gunshot Wound to Spinal Cord when on active service whilst on an infiltration by set of Greek agents to island of Corfu', with the 'party being fired upon by enemy patrol whilst being in the process of landing.' The Lt. Col. Harcourt's SECRET H.Q. Force 399 C.M.F. Battle Casualty Report records: 'This officer who was on the strength of FORCE 133, M.E.F. was killed on active service on 27 June 1944. Capt. Kennedy met his death while engaged on an operation on the Greek coast. While he was endeavouring to land a beach party, fire was opened from the shore and Capt. Kennedy was killed while going back to the ship upon which he was travelling.'  A Force 399 C.M.F. Death Certificate further records that Kennedy was 'Brought in dead at No.11 Mob CCS at approx 0730 hrs 27 Jun 1944.' Kennedy was buried at Bari War Cemetery, Italy. Fellow S.O.E. agent recalls: "We left for Cairo on the 31st March for final briefing. There we were met by Tom Kennedy of the Cheshires, Our conducting officer. He was a most delightful person, and it came as a sad blow when I heard of his death during a raid on the island of Corfu, a few months later. We spent ten busy days absorbing the very latest intelligence reports from Greece; being lectured on the Greek political set-up; the Greek character, and generally what to expect when we arrived in the country. Finally, we were each specifically briefed by an expert in our own particular area. By the time this was over, we knew pretty well all there was to know about modern Greece, the German dispositions, and the general features of the country to which we had been assigned."


Cards we accept


War Medals


14 Drapers Lane, Leominster,

07714 631 313
01568 616 414