Poignant tribute to a fallen hero

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A Bearsden woman has written a haunting song about a fallen soldier after being moved by a visit to the Death Railway in Thailand.

Laura Kenny (31) from Rannoch Drive, has been living in Hong Kong for the last seven years and she now runs her own business, teaching parents, babies and young children how to use music for growth and development.

She’s also had time for a bit of travelling and visited the Thailand-Burma Death Railway where allied prisoners of war, mostly British, Australian and Dutch, were taken to work during World War Two.

Laura, a former Boclair Academy pupil, said: “The conditions the soldiers were kept in were horrific and many died due to illness, starvation or captor brutality by the Japanese.

“After learning about what had happened to these soldiers I also visited the cemetery across the street.”

It was there that she found the headstone of a soldier who shared her surname, called J.D. Kenny, who was with the 9 Coast Regiment of the Royal Artillery and died in November 1943 aged 25.

Although Laura wasn’t sure whohe was, or if he was a relative of hers, the discovery inspired the lyrics of a song.

She added: “I came away from this feeling sickened at the reminder of what human beings are capable of.

“Kenny is not a surname you hear every day so to find a headstone with that name was quite startling. It made the experience a lot more real.

“He was only 25 when he died which evoked a greater sense of tragedy as I’m not much older. These soldiers were not just characters in a story but real people who had been sent across the world to fight.

“I started thinking about who this soldier might have been, how he must have felt and who was waiting for him to return home.

“Bearing in mind that soldiers, men and women, still pay the ultimate price today and they are usually fit, young and healthy with their whole life ahead of them.

“So I took a few notes for a song as I think it’s still very relevant now.”