Sacrifice put to song

A KIAMA man who went to war in place of his son before being killed in action has been immortalised in a song.

Kiama resident Louis Stanley Kendall inspired the recently completed song, In Place of His Son, penned by a member of the Kiama-Jamberoo RSL Sub-Branch.

Private Kendall enlisted in the reinforcements of the Army's 30th Battalion on March 8, 1916, after his son Allen's application for enlistment was rejected on medical grounds.

Pte Kendall left from Kiama via train in August 1916.

He was killed in action, aged 39, on October 23, 1917, in Belgium.

"Stanley", as he was known, was buried in the Hooge Crater Cemetery.

The song includes a verse about the coverage of Pte Kendall's death in the Kiama Independent.

The death was reported in the Kiama Independent and the Shoalhaven Advertiser on November 14, 1917.

"[His death] gave a feeling of shock and deep regret throughout Kiama and its district," the report said.

"His integrity, upright character and industry made him one the district could ill afford to lose."

Kiama-Jamberoo RSL Sub-Branch member and aspiring musician Peter Mitchell wrote the song's lyrics, while Kiama resident and Illawarra Folk Club member Bill Montgomery assisted with the composition of the music.

He conducts a talk each year about a Kiama area identity for an Anzac service.

Mr Mitchell said the song title had been in his head for some time, and he has performed it at Sub-Branch meetings.

Mr Mitchell said he was still investigating details surrounding Pte Kendall's life, service and family.

"They wouldn't accept his son . . . he said, 'I'll go'," Mr Mitchell said.

"This guy, for God and country, goes to serve his country, and left a family behind."

Throughout the Centenary of World War I, from 2014 to 2018, Mr Mitchell hoped residents of the Kiama municipality would embrace their town's role in wartime history.

This included embracing and celebrating their own identities and contributions, perhaps in a creative fashion.

"Maybe there's a way they can express it in poetry, for example," he said.

"People might want to dig up old Kiama Independent articles and write a song about it.

"If they have a relative [who fought], they could be the inspiration.

"We'd like to see people not just taking up the national identities, but embrace the local identities as well."

Places to pay your respects:

■ The Kiama Anzac Day dawn service will start at 5.45am and the march and service begins at 10.30am from council chambers in Manning Street to the Memorial Arch.

■ Kiama Leagues Club will have a breakfast immediately following the Kiama dawn service.

■ Rosebank Meats and Baker's Delight donate meat and bread. Proceeds from a gold coin donation go to Legacy. Two-up will commence at 1pm.

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