Captain Keith Jennens (1885-1949) lived in Wickhamford in the late 1930s. He was a son of William and Edith Jennens and was born in Edgbaston, Birmingham. According to the 1891 and 1901 censuses his father was a ‘Military Ornament Manufacturer’ (i.e military buttons, buckles etc).
Keith Jennens joined the 5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a Territorial Battalion, and he is listed as a Lieutenant in an article in the Lichfield Mercury of 5th May 1908 concerning army training in Sutton Park. The London Gazette listed his promotion to Captain in the Regiment on 22nd June 1912.
No service or pension records survive for Keith Jennens, but his medal index card does. This shows that he left for France on 5th June 1915, about 3 weeks after the 1/5th Battalion is recorded as landing there. This record states that he was in the Staff Corps. His Battalion fought at the Battles of the Somme (July 1916), Ancre and the Third Battle of Ypres; it was moved to Italy in November 1917, where it remained until the Armistice. In Italy it fought in the Battle of Vittoria Veneto. His campaign medals were the Victory and British War Medals and the 1915 Star. The London Gazette of 6th May 1920 recorded that Captain Keith Jennens, O.B.E., of the 5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment was awarded the Territorial Decoration.
Keith had married Sibyl Maud Barling on 7th November 1911, but the couple were divorced after a few years and they had no children. Sibyl had worked in the Ministry of Munitions during the Great War as an Assistant Inspector on the Aeronautical Inspection Dept and was awarded an M.B.E. in April 1920.
Keith Jennens is listed amongst the Wickhamford voters on the November 1939 Electoral Register, when he was living as a lodger at “Coronation Villa”, Pitchers Hill, next door to the Sandys Arms. He was about 53 years old at this time and probably re-enlisted at the outbreak of the Second World War as there was a ‘Lt K. Jennens’ on the Army General List in 1941 working in the Infantry Record and Pay Office. He died in Ludlow early in 1949.