Kenneth Simonet

Medals awarded

  • 1914-15 Star
  • British War Medal 1914-20
  • Victory Medal 1914-19

Born in Jersey in 1881, Kenneth William Lee Simonet joined The Green Howards in 1901, reaching the rank of Captain by 1909.

Stationed with the 1st Battalion in India at the start of the First World War, he was determined to reach the fighting. He was initially attached to the 2nd Dorsetshire Battalion and wrote of his frustration at not being in the action. He died a week later, the only officer from the 1st Battalion killed in action during the war.

Simonet was killed in his first action in Mesopotamia on 21 January 1916, when attached to The Black Watch. Of the three hundred who attacked, only two officers and fifteen Other Ranks answered roll call the next day. There was no opportunity for, or attempt at, surprise. The enemy opened fire on the advancing 2nd Black Watch and 6th Jat Light Infantry, who had advanced just 200 yards.

The regimental Gazette stated “In him the Regiment has lost not only an excellent soldier, but one of the most sympathetic of men, and he will be deeply mourned by his comrades. He was a nephew of the late Lieutenant-Colonel J F Simonet, who served for 14 years with the 19th.”

Major Kenneth Simonet is named on panel 14 of the Basra Memorial, one of 40,639 names recorded there.