Probably 1916 this is a later photo of Fred Kench, showing his Signaller badges on his arm, plus a Lance Bombardier strip on his arm.
Army life must agree with his as he has filled out considerably from his light build in DK114, taken the year before. From his war diary, we know that Fred became a signaller in the Royal Field Artillery, which involved him and an officer sitting out in an Observation Post in front of the front lines, spotting for the guns behind them. It was Fred's job to lay and repair the telephone wires back to the gun pits. On October 20, 1916, his diary tells us German shelling knocked out the remaining gun in the battery, along with the telephone pit, and at this time he receives shrapnel wounds to the face and left hand. Because of these wounds he loses the sight of his left eye and is transferred to the Reserves back in England. Later becomes office orderly in a Home Service battalion, finishing his war in 1919 as acting Sargent. He returned to Eydon and resumed his work with the family firm of Thomas Kench and partnered his brother George who had managed the building firm in the final years of the war following the death of their father Thomas in 1917. Fred remained permanently blind in his left eye for the remainder of his life.
Photographer: Unknown Professional
Image lent by : Mr David Kench
Connected Photos: DK114 | DK116 | DK140