The Australian Boer War Memorial
Anzac Parade Canberra

Private (later Captain) Samuel Kensell

Ancestor Details

Ancestor's Name: Samuel Samson Kensell

Ancestor's date of birth: 26/06/1880

Ancestor's date of death: 11/07/1957

Cause of Death: Brain Aneurism

Service and Life Before the Boer War: He was born in England but moved to Australia as a child and lived at Austral Park at Hoxton Park near Liverpool NSW.

Service Number: 1560

Colony or State of enlistment: Not Australia, Place of Enlistment: Durban South Africa

Unit: Bethune's Mounted Infantry

Rank attained in Boer War: PTE, Date Effective: 08/10/1901

Highest Rank attained (if served after war): CAPT, Date Effective: 01/08/1914

Murray Page: Not applicable, did not serve in an Australian unit.

Contingent: Not applicable.

Ship: Travelled privately to South Africa.

Memorial details: Detail not provided.

Awards/Decorations/Commendations: Queen's South Africa Medal with Cape Colony, South Africa 1901 and South Africa 1902 clasps.

Personal Characteristics: Detail not provided.

Reasons to go and fight: It is not clear why he enlisted to fight, his brother Isaac John had already completed a tour of service with Roberts Horse. Being of the Jewish religion he may have felt a duty to fight against the Boers who were regarded as discriminating against those of the Jewish faith, the Australian Jewish community were supporters of the British cause. It is possible that he had tried to enlist in Australia and had been rejected.

Details of service in war: He enlisted in Bethune's 8 October 1901 and was discharged on completion of service on 31 March 1902. At this time Bethune's were operating exclusively in Cape Colony against Boer raiding parties. Colonel Monro's column, consisting of Bethune's Mounted Infantry, about 275 strong, and the 56, 57, 58, and 59th Companies Imperial Yeomanry, with 2 guns of the 39th Battery Royal Field Artillery, was, on 19 May 1901, taken to Cape Colony, where, down to the close of the war, they were everlastingly pursuing commandos under Kritzinger, Myburg, and other leaders. On 12 September 1901 the force was heavily engaged with Commandant Smuts at Stavelberg, in the eastern part of Cape Colony, and lost 7 killed and 6 wounded, the latter including Lieutenant Pollard. On 27 March 1902 Captain Collopy and 4 men were wounded at Mointje's Nek, and a few days later there were further casualties at Maraisburg, Cape Colony. Like the other troops in Cape Colony, Bethune's Mounted Infantry had few opportunities of gaining distinction in the latter phases of the war, but the work of Colonel Monro's column was very often referred to in terms of approval by Lord Kitchener. Samuel returned to Australia on the SS Manchester Merchant.

Service and life after the Boer War: It appears that he must have joined the Militia on return to Australia as he served in World War One as a Captain on home service.

Descendant Details

Name of Descendant: Maurice Joseph Kensell, Fivedock NSW
Relationship to Ancestor: Son


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RUSI of NSW Boer War Battlefields