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Paul Aloysius Kenna

Brigadier General Paul Aloysius Kenna VC DSO (16 August 1862 in Everton, Liverpool - 30 August 1915) was an English born Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross (VC), the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry in the face of the enemy that could be awarded to British and British Empire forces.



He was the son of Thomas Kenna, a wealthy stockbroker of Liverpool who was descended from a family of minor gentry from County Meath. Kenna was educated at Stonyhurst College and St. Francis Xavier College in Liverpool - he is honoured in a memorial which can be seen in the main hall of the current college site in Beaconsfield Road, Liverpool. Kenna married Lady Cecil Bertie, daughter of the 7th Earl of Abingdon.

Victoria Cross

Kenna was 36 years old, and a captain in the 21st Lancers (Empress of India's), British Army during the Sudan Campaign when the following deed took place for which he was awarded the VC (currently on display in the The Queen's Royal Lancers Regimental Museum, Belvoir Castle):

On 2 September 1898, at the Battle of Omdurman, Sudan, when a major of the 21st Lancers was in danger, as his horse had been shot in the charge, Captain Kenna took the major up on his own horse, to a place of safety. After the charge Captain Kenna returned to help Lieutenant De Montmorency who was trying to recover the body of an officer who had been killed.


He competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics for Great Britain as a horse rider. He did not finish the Individual eventing (Military) competition, also the British team did not finish the team event. In the individual jumping event he finished 27th.

The 21st Lancers at Omdurman

World War I

He was killed in action at Suvla, Turkey during the Battle of Gallipoli on 30 August 1915, aged 53 and is buried in Lala Baba Cemetery.


  • Irish Winners of the Victoria Cross (Richard Doherty & David Truesdale, 2000)
  • Monuments to Courage (David Harvey, 1999)
  • The Register of the Victoria Cross (This England, 1997)
  • Liverpool VCs (James Murphy, Pen and Sword Books, 2008)


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