Author Topic: Henry Kelly VC MC  (Read 3106 times)

liverpool annie

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Henry Kelly VC MC
« on: September 17, 2009, 06:02:55 AM »

Henry Kelly was born on July 10th 1887 in Collyhurst, into an Irish Catholic family. Much decorated and ever the perennial soldier, Henry was to take part in many of the wars of the 20th century and to earn distinction in all of them.
By the age of sixteen, Henry was working at the Post office as sole support to his widowed mother and her ten children.
At the outbreak of war in 1914, Henry was quick to volunteer and initially joined the Cameron Highlanders before later moving to the Manchester Regiment, where he quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant Major. He later gained a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the Duke of Wellington's Regiment.
By 1915 he was on active service on the Somme where, showing outstanding bravery, he saved the lives of a number of his comrades for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. Later he was also awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre and the French Medaille Militaire. In Italy he was awarded the Military Cross and a Bar to Military Cross at Piave. In 1918 he rose to the rank of Major. During his army career he'd been wounded on two occasions.
After the war, he and his brothers opened grocery shops on Rochdale Road and Upper Chorlton Road. Later Henry was landlord in a number of local Manchester pubs. Henry went on to join the 'International Brigade' as a foreign volunteer fighting against Fascists in the Spanish Civil War and was ranked Commandente Generale. Here he was awarded the Grand Laurelled Cross of San Fernando. At the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 he rejoined the British army.
Henry Kelly died in Prestwich Hospital 18th January 1960 and is buried in Southern Cemetery, Wythenshawe. His medals can be seen at the Duke of Wellington's Museum in Halifax.