430787 Sgt. Edward Harold Kemp, known as Harold, was born on 20th June, 1883, in the village of Thorrington, Essex, the son of John and Lucy Kemp. John Kemp was the vicar in the Parish Church of St. Mary Magdelane Thorrington. Previously John Kemp had been a missionary in Sarawak on the island of Borneo where some of his children where born. All together John and Lucy had 11 children, of whom Harold was the 9th son.


Harold qualified as a second mate in the merchant navy in 1904 and served as a midshipman. At some stage he entered Canada and joined the Royal North Western Mounted Police, eventually transferring to the RCMP. He married Isabelle Affleck in Moose Jaw SA. in 1910 and together had two children. Harold was posted to Victoria BC and then Ladysmith BC.


Enlisting in Victoria BC on 25th March, 1915, Harold originally attested into the 48th Battalion CEF but was transferred to the 4th CMR in England, joining them in the field in October 1915). I understand that he was in charge of a machine gun section (per the Victoria Daily Colonist).


Harold was with the regiment on 2nd June, 1916, near to Sanctuary Wood in the Hooge Sector, when, they came under sustained artillery bombardment. He was reported missing, although his Canadian records state that his body was later identified by the German Army and was thus reported as killed in action. Newspaper reports, however, suggested that he was in fact captured and later died whilst in captivity. This information came via the German Red Cross.


His name is on the Ilkley War Memorial, in West Yorkshire, England, as his parents had moved to Ilkley and lived in Westville Avenue, as had his own wife and children.


As far as can be ascertain he is also named on the war memorials in Creston, BC, Victoria, BC and Ladysmith BC.


Sgt. Edward Harold Kemp name appears on Panel 32 of the Menin Gate Memorial, Ieper, Belgium.





The above biography is credited to and courtesy of Edward Wild.