John J. Kennedy was an Irish priest who volunteered for the Australian mission shortly after his ordination in 1904. He spent the next 25 years in parishes in country Victoria, apart from 1914-1918 when he served with the A.I.F. in Egypt and France as a military chaplain. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order 'for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty'. In 1919 The Whale Oil Guards, his history of the 53rd Batallion, was published. After leaving Australia he spent some years in New Zealand and later migrated to USA.