Ted and Marj Kenna

‘I call them all heroes for the way they acted’

14 July 2020

Today we remember Ted Kenna, who engaged Japanese machine guns in semi-suicidal fashion. He was typically modest about his role. Ted and his wife-to-be, nurse Marj Rushbury, received some unexpected news about Ted.

Ted Kenna with medals on his chest. Marj Kenna stands with one hand on his shoulder. A quote is printed with the words 'I call them all heroes for the way they acted.'

Ted and Marj Kenna Audio file (25 MB)

Ted and Marj Kenna audio script

75th Anniversary of End of the Second World War

Audio actuality:

“Fellow Citizens, the War is over” – (The Hon J B Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia)

On the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War, Australia Remembers Ted Kenna.

Just a few months before war’s end – on May 15th 1945 in New Guinea – Ted engaged Japanese machine guns in semi-suicidal fashion. He was typically modest about his role.

TED KENNA Insert:
I don't think I done anything. It just had to be done and I done it.

Recuperating in Heidelberg Military Hospital from a severe facial wound, Ted and his wife-to-be, nurse Marj Rushbury, received some unexpected news. He’d been awarded a Victoria Cross for bravery.

TED KENNA Insert:
Well I was in Heidelberg at the time when the gong come through. It was lights out and they went to get me and I was down the duckboards with my girlfriend. And the General wanted to see me. And then one of my mates said: “I know where he is.” So they come on down and got me, and brought me up so the General could say that I’d won it.

MARJ KENNA Insert:
I call them all heroes for the way they acted, but I certainly didn't know that Ted was in for a Victoria Cross. So I was very proud.

Saturday, August 15 marks the 75th Anniversary of the End of the Second World War. Let’s pay our respects to that amazing generation of Australians.