They made the Ultimate Sacrifice


Thomas Robert Kennedy


Leading Stoker, V5831, RCNVR


Born: 26 Apr 1915, Paris, Ontario


Died: 10 Feb 1942 at sea


Book of Remembrance


KENNEDY, Thomas Robert, Leading Stoker, V5831, RCNVR, MPK - 10 Feb 1942, HMCS SPIKENARD - Born 26 Apr 1915 son of Thomas and Elsie Violet Kennedy, of Brantford, Ontario.


Leading Stoker Kennedy died when his ship, HMCS SPIKENARD, was torpedoed and sunk by U-136, about 465 nautical miles west of Malin Head, Ireland while escorting convoy SC-67. Of her crew of 65, there were only 8 survivors.


Leading Stoker Thomas Robert Kennedy. In less than three years, from September, 1939, which saw the beginning of the Second Great War, until his death following enemy torpedoing of the Corvette H.M.C.S. Spikenard on February 13, 1942, Leading Stoker Thomas Robert Kennedy, 26, stood six feet, two inches tall and weighed 205 pounds, followed a trail of adventure on the high seas that was as colorful as it was dangerous. The only child of Mr. and Mrs. T. Kennedy, 336 St. Paul Avenue, he had a deep love for the sea, which strangely contrasted with the inland setting of his home. Born in Paris, he was brought to Brantford at the age of two by his parents and later attended Dufferin School. Reaching maturity, he worked at the Slingsby Manufacturing Company, Ltd., but the call of the blue waters was too strong to be ignored, and at the age of 21, he joined the crew of a Great Lake boat. With a background of three years' service, it was an easy step into the Merchant Marine at the outbreak of war. Then he really began to know excitement. He sailed to Brazil and to Venezuela, had his ship chased by and was finally able to see the Graf Spee, a German pocket battleship, sunk off Montevideo. The tanker Libby, upon which he was sailing, moved on to France, but misfortune met her in a wreck on Baysleur Rock, off Le Havre. The boat was laid up for repairs and just before the capitulation of France; Leading Stoker Kennedy was returned to this side of the Atlantic on an American boat. He then enlisted with the R.C.N.V.R. at Montréal and after training shipped and served in the North Atlantic run.


Ships served in:

MONTREAL DIVISION RCNVR - Enlisted 29 Jun 1940 as a Sto 2c, RCNVR. Commenced Active Service 02 Jul 1940.

HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 02 Jul 1940 as a Sto 1c, RCNVR

HMCS ST ELOI - Drafted to ST ELOI 09 Oct 1940 as a Sto 1c, RCNVR

HMCS MARLIS - Drafted to MARLIS 20 Oct 1940 as a Sto 1c, RCNVR

HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 30 Oct 1940 as a Sto 1c, RCNVR

HMCS GASPE - Drafted to GASPE 04 Nov 1940 as a Sto 1c, RCNVR

HMCS SUNBEAM - Drafted to SUNBEAM 04 Feb 1941 as a Sto 1c, RCNVR

* Rated A/L/Sto 29 Jun 1941

HMCS STADACONA - Drafted to STADACONA 05 Jul 1941 as an A/L/Sto, RCNVR

HMCS SPIKENARD - Drafted to SPIKENARD 05 Jul 1941 as an A/L/Sto, RCNVR





(TK01) Article on the death of L/Sto Kennedy - Toronto Star Feb 1942

(TK02) L/Sto Kennedy's mother not giving up on slight hope that her son may be found alive - Toronto Telegram Feb 1942

(TK03) Articles from the Service File of Thomas Kennedy



Second World War Casualty Index