Thomas Kennedy Irwin (Junior)

First Name: 
Thomas
Middle Name: 
Kennedy
Last Name: 
Irwin (Junior)
Date of Birth: 
Wednesday, July 18, 1894
Mother's Name: 
Elizabeth Irwin (nee McIntosh)
Father's Name: 
Thomas Kennedy Irwin (Senior)
Rank at Enlistment: 
Private
Unit: 
2nd Light Horse Field Ambulance
Awards: 
British War Medal
Victory Medal
Date of Death: 
Monday, July 27, 1936
Place of Death: 
Wollongong
Details: 

Thomas Kennedy Irwin (Service No 3628) was born on 18 July 1894 in Wollongong to Thomas Kennedy Irwin (Snr) and Elizabeth Irwin (nee McIntosh).

His pre-war life saw him attending Wollongong Public school and ultimately working as a coach painter at Dwyers Wollongong. He was also a member of the North Wollongong ‘Water Rats’ Surf Lifesaving Club and served in the ‘Home Service Ambulance’ prior to enlisting.

He married Constance (nee Hodgson) in 1917 and they had six children together: Gloria, Thelma, Charles, Thomas, James and Robert.

Thomas Kennedy Irwin enlisted on 22 May, 1917 at Victoria Barracks, Sydney. His father Thomas Kennedy (snr) and brothers Charles Duff and William McIntosh also served in the First World War. He was attested in Sydney, 25 May 1917 at age 22 and embarked from Melbourne on HMAT Commonwealth A73 on 2 November 1917.

He joined the 2 nd Light Horse Field Ambulance and was active at the Sinai Desert, Solomon’s Pools, Jericho, Jerusalem and Damascus.

According to records on the National Australian Archives, Tom was discharged due to medical unfitness.

He returned to Australia aboard HT Malta in 1919. On his return, Tom and his family lived at 311 Keira Street. The house was built in 1925.

TK Irwin was involved in many hobbies apart from the Lifesaving Club. According to the Illawarra Mercury, this included an active interest in boxing and involvement on the Wollongong Cricket Team.

Thomas Kennedy Irwin died in 1936 as a result of mustard gas poisoning used in trenches. He is buried at Wollongong Presbyterian Cemetery and commemorated on the North Wollongong Honour Roll along with his brothers.

Sources: 
Ancestry.com. Australia Marriage Index, 1788-1950 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010.
AWM, First World War Embarkation Rolls - Thomas Kennedy Irwin, Australian War Memorial, Canberra 2014, http://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1957586/, viewed 16 July 2014.
‘Late T.K Irwin’, Illawarra Mercury, 31 July 1936, p.7.
NAA: B2455, IRWIN, THOMAS KENNEDY

Images

Black and white photograph of Thomas Kennedy Irwin Jr with friends
Black and white photograph of Thomas Kennedy Irwin Jr with horse
Sepia photograph of Thomas Kennedy Irwin Jr in uniform
Sepia photograph of Wollongong Cricket Team featuring Thomas Kennedy Irwin Jr
Black and white photo of North Wollongong Water Rats
Black and white photo of soldiers in gas masks, featuring Thomas Kennedy Irwin Jr
Sepia photograph of horses on parade.
Postcard reads: "Greetings to the dear homeland. A word of cheer to someone dear. For auld lang syne Australia will be there." Dated 1919, from Egypt
Black and white photo of Thomas Kennedy Irwin Jr and friend
Black and white photograph of Dwyer's Wollongong

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