SF113151 Driver Kerris Daphne DENNIS
Kerris Daphne DENNIS was born in Victor Harbor on 26 March 1916, the eldest of two children of Victor Alfred DENNIS and Emily Eva DENNIS (nee Gietzel). She was educated at the Victor Harbor public school and high school; during those years of education she lived with her grandparents in the town from Monday to Friday each week.
She was 27 years old, single and undertaking domestic duties when she enlisted in the Australian Women’s Army Service (AWAS) on 18 June 1943.
Kerris reported to the Regional Recruitment Depot (RRD), Wayville and was posted to the 5th Australian Engineering Company for basic training. On 12 July 1943, she commenced a six-week course at the Department of Motor Vehicles School, which she completed and qualified as a transport and staff car driver on 21 August.
On 1 September 1943, Kerris was posted to the Motor Vehicle Trade Training Centre at Enfield. On 11 October 1943, she commenced 21 days leave without pay in order to assist her parents on the farm due to the nationwide shortage of labour. On return to her unit, Kerris trained as a driver and on completion was posted to the 4th Military District’s HQ Transport Section. Over the ensuing year, she had two admissions to the 121st Australian General Hospital; this leads us to believe she was serving in the Northern Territory as our research indicate the 121st was based at Katherine during the war.
Kerris was demobilised on 5 June 1946. She later married Ken Carmichael, a war veteran and ex-POW; they farmed on the land at Waitpinga that they took over from her parents. There were two children of the marriage. Kerris died on 22 April 2007, age 91 and is buried in the Victor Harbor Cemetery.
Service file of SF113151 Kerris Daphne DENNIS purchased from the National Archives of Australia (www.naa.gov.au), made possible by a grant from the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. The grant also made possible the digital restoration of a number of the images of servicemen and women featured on the Waitpinga Pictorial Honour Roll Board No 3.
Carmichael, Kerris D., The Dennis Family Of Waitpinga (unpublished manuscript), Victor Harbor (1984).
Compiled by the Victor Harbor RSL History Research Team, July 2011.