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  • Commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
02 Feb 1899
Harby Leicestershire
He was the son of William and Betsy Kemp (née Moulds). His father William was born in Harby in 1870 and his mother Betsy in Brentenby, Leicestershire, in about 1873. They were married at Harby St Mary the Virgin parish church in June 1894 and had four children aho were all born in Harby and baptised in the parish church: Alice Ann b. 1894, Thomas Alfred b. 2 February 1899 bap. 2 April 1899, George William b. 1903 and Ena Marjorie b. 1906. Seven years after their marriage at the time of the 1901 Census, William, a railway labourer, and Betsy with their two children, Alice (6) and Thomas (2), were living at Stathern Road, Harby, with William's widowed father, Thomas Kemp, a yardman on a farm. By 1911 William was the householder at 9 Exchange Road, Harby, with his wife, three of their children, Alice, George and Ena, and his father, now retired and in receipt of an old age pension. Thomas Alfred (12) was living in Tithby, near Cropwell Butler, with his uncle by marriage, Thomas White, a wagoner on a farm, his aunt Sarah (née Moulds, m. 1886) and their two youngest children Thomas Alfred (19), a farm labourer, and Annie. Thomas Alfred was also killed in the war (see 'Extra information'). Thomas' parents were still living at 9 Exchange Row, Harby, when he was killed in action in 1918. Betsy probably died in 1937 and in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled, her husband William, a general far worker, was living on Stathern Road, Harby with his unmarried daughter Ena, a cheese dairymaid. William died in 1950; his address on the probate record was Cherry Tree Cottage, Harby. William's son-in-law, Arthur Mawson (m. Ena Kemp 1949), was awarded probate.
He gave his occupation as a farm worker (cowman and horseman) when he enlisted in 1917.
23 Mar 1918
19
1575200 - CWGC Website
97911
Tithby, Nottinghamshire. Enlisted Nottingham.
Private
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment). The 2nd Battalion was a regular army battalion. In 1914 it was in Sheffield but moved to Edinburgh on mobilisation. On 11 September 1914 the battalion disembarked at St Nazaire to serve with the BEF France where it remained for the duration of the war. Thomas Alfred attested in Nottingham and was medically examined in Derby on 27 April 1917 aged 18 years 2 months, occupation cowman/horseman on a farm. He joined at the Sherwood Foresters' Depot on 16 June 1917 (88557) and was posted to the (?9th) Training Reserve Bn. the same month. On 18 August he transferred to the 6th Training Reserve Bn. at Rugeley, Staffordshire (TR/S/88905) then to the 11th Training Reserve Bn. at Brocton Camp on 17 September 1917 (TR/6/3509). He transferred to the 3rd Bn Sherwood Foresters (97911) and embarked for the BEF France on 23 January 1918, disembarking the same day. Thomas was posted on 24 January and probably joined the 2nd Battalion on 28 January. Thomas was reported missing in action 21-23 March 1918 at the time of the German Spring offensive. Service records gave his death as 'presumed 21-23 March', but the CWGC record cites 23 March. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France (Bay 7). He qualified for the British War Medal and Victory Medal. German Spring Offensive 1918: this was a series of German attacks along the Western Front beginning on 21 March 1918 with the aim of breaking through the Allied lines. The main attack (codename ‘Michael’) was designed to outflank and defeat the British forces which held the Front from the Somme River to the Channel. Although much ground that it had lost in previous years was retaken by the German army, it was unable to resupply its front line troops which took heavy casualties. The Allies, now supported by American troops, launched a successful counter-offensive in August. CWGC - History of the Arras Memorial (extract): The Arras Memorial is in the Faubourg-d'Amiens Cemetery, Arras. 'The French handed over Arras to Commonwealth forces in the spring of 1916 ... The Commonwealth section of the Faubourg D'Amiens Cemetery was begun in March 1916 ... The adjacent Arras Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. The most conspicuous events of this period were the Arras offensive of April-May 1917, and the German attack in the spring of 1918.'
Thomas Alfred's cousin, Thomas Alfred White, the son of his maternal aunt, Sarah (née Moulds) and her husband Thomas White, served in the 7th Bn. Sherwood Foresters (5001 Private) and died of wounds in France on 25 July 1916. He is buried in Mont Huon Military Cemetery, Le Treport. (See record on this Roll of Honour) WMR14788: Thomas Alfred is commemorated on the Harby WW1/WW2 memorial, School Lane, Harby, Melton Mowbray LE14 4BZ (T Kemp). He is also commemorated on a memorial or roll of honour in Harby St Mary the Virgin parish church. CWGC: 'Son of William and Betsy Kemp, of 9, Exchange Row, Harby, Melton Mowbray.' There is a document dated October 1919 in Thomas Alfred's service record that his personal property was to be returned to his mother at 9 Exchange Road, Harby.
Remembered on

Photos

  • Commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)
    Thomas Alfred Kemp - Commemorated on the Arras Memorial, France. (www.cwgc.org)