Jack Kenworthy (1919-1940)

An ongoing project to commemorate and research the lives of those who appear on war memorials and rolls of honour in the local area, who served in the military, or whose deaths were linked to conflict.


Jack Kenworthy was born on 24 August 1919 in Meltham, the son of iron turner Willie Kenworthy and his wife Laura Ann (née Battye).

At the time of the 1921 Census, he was living with his maternal grandparents at Broadlands, Meltham, and his parents were living nearby at Golcar Brow.

Following his father's death in 1929, his mother married Herbert Quarmby in the late 1930s. They lived at 2 Wetlands, Meltham.

He studied art at Huddersfield Technical College.

He served in the Royal Artillery but was injured during the Dunkirk retreat and died. His body was returned to Meltham and was buried at the Baptist Church.

Jack Kenworthy is commemorated on the Meltham War Memorial.


Huddersfield Examiner (08/Jun/1940):


Art Student Soldier’s Death from Wounds

News has been received of the death of Jack Kenworthy, a former student of the Technical College School of Art, who lived with his mother and stepfather at 2 Wetlands, Meltham.

He was in the R.A. and was one of those evacuated from Dunkirk, but he was seriously wounded and died during the journey. Only twenty years of age, he was a most promising student. He had gained the Board of Education drawing certificate and the City and Guilds Industrial Design Certificate and he should have become a student at the Royal College of Art in September last. He was an excellent etcher.

Huddersfield Examiner (15/Jun/1940):


Died From Wounds on Way Home From Dunkirk

Gunner Jack Kenworthy, R.A., who was severely wounded during the evacuation of Dunkirk and died on the way home to England, Was buried in the Baptist Churchyard, Meltham, on Saturday. He was twenty years of age.

Gunner Kenworthy, whose home was at No. 2, Wetlands, Meltham, joined up in November last and was posted to the Royal Artillery. He went out to Flanders in April. He was a popular and promising student of the Huddersfield Technical College School of Art. He had won the Board of Education Drawing Certificate and the Industrial Design and City and Guilds Certificates. He would have become a student of the Royal College of Art, South Kensington, in September last, had not the war intervened. He was a first class etcher, and two of his etchings, one of the Meltham Silica Fire Brick Co. works and one of King’s Mill, Huddersfield, have been on view at several of the Students’ Exhibitions held in Huddersfield. He also won seven prizes in competitions connected with the National Board of Master Painters. He was in every sense of the word an artist.

The funeral service was conducted by the Vicar of Meltham Mills (the Rev. J. Kearsley), who paid high tribute both to the man and to the force to which be belonged.

There was a large congregation. The Huddersfield School of Art staff was represented by Messrs. N. Spencer (headmaster), C. R. Napier, N. Culley, F. Darlington, J. Carruthers, T. Littlewood, Dr. J. Walker, Mrs. J. Walker and Miss D. W. Lee. The students were represented by Misses. Joan Robson, P. Smethurst, S. Varley, K. Smith, Messrs. G. Wright, H. Potter, T. J. Moran, J. Rostron, J. Stansfleld, D. Bowen and A. Brown.

Mrs. Hildren Sykes represented the Meltham Women’s Working Party and Mrs. H. V. Beaumont the Meltham Parcel and Postage Fund. Members at the Meltham and Meltham Mills branch of the British Legion officiated as bearers and the coffin was covered with the Union Jack. The floral tributes, included wreaths from the Meltham and Meltham Mills branch of the British Legion, Meltham Parcel and Pontage Fund (on behalf of the “People of Meltham”), Meltham Women’s Working Party, Staff of the School of Art, and Fellow Students of the Art School. Mr. Thompson was at the organ.

Messrs. Garlick Brothers were the undertakers.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission