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  • Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (www.cwgc.org)
Person Details
18 Mar 1893
Bulwell Nottingham
Thomas Harry was the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Kemp (née Walker). Both his parents were born about 1857 in Newark, Nottinghamshire. Thomas completed the 1911 Census without giving the number of years he and Elizabeth had been married and no record has yet been traced of their marriage. Thomas and Elizabeth had 13 children of whom only eight survived childhood. Nine children, who were all born in Bulwell, were named on the census between 1881 and 1911: William birth registered 1881 (J/F/M), Ernest b. 1884, Mary Ann b. 1886, David b. 1891 d. 1892, Thomas Harry b. 18 March 1893 bap. 31 May 1893, Charles Edward b. 1895, Nellie, James Albert birth registered 1900 (J/F/M) and Laura Elsie (Elsie) b. 1903. Two sons who died in infancy were John Thomas b. 1879 d. 1879 and Walter Henry b. 1883 d. 1883. All the children apart from the youngest, Elsie, were baptised at Bulwell St Mary the Virgin and All Souls. In 1881 Thomas (24), a coal miner, and Elizabeth (23) were living at 2 Mulberry Terrace, Bulwell, with their 4 month old son, William. They were still living at the same address in 1891 but now had four children: William, Ernest (6), Mary Ann (5) and David (1 month) who died the following year. The family was still at 2 Mulberry Terrace when James was baptised in January 1900 but had moved to 4 Mulberry Terrace when the census was recorded the following year. Six of Thomas and Elizabeth's seven children were at home on the night of the census: William a bricklayer's labourer, Ernest a general carter, Mary a lace mender, Harry (8), Charles (6) and James (1). Another daughter, Nellie, whose age was given as 14 on the 1911 Census and would have been about 4 years old in 1901 was not in the home on the night of the census. Elsie was born two years later. By 1911 Thomas and Elizabeth were living at 1 Crown Street, Bulwell, with five of their eight children: Thomas Harry an out of work coal miner, Charles a pony driver underground, Nellie who worked in a laundry, and James and Elsie (7) who were still at school. William and his sister Mary have not yet been traced on the 1911 Census, but Ernest was married and living in Nottingham. Both Thomas Harry and his brother Charles Edward joined the Royal Navy in 1913. Charles Edward joined as a Stoker 2nd Class (SS114718) and served in HMS Dido from 14 January 1914 to 28 February 1919. He transferred to the Royal Fleet Reserve in May 1919 (Stoker 1st Class); last service date was June 1921. Their brother James died in 1914 aged about 15. Elizabeth Kemp was living at 199 Commercial Road, Bulwell, when she was notified of her son Thomas Harry's death in 1916.
He was an out of work coal miner in 1911 but a pit pony driver when he joined the Royal Navy in June 1913.
31 May 1916
3036938 - CWGC Website
SS/114134 (Po)
Stoker 1st Class
HMS Black Prince Royal Navy
HMS Black Prince battle cruiser (1904). Battle of Jutland: First Cruiser Squadron (Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Arbuthnot-killed), flagship HMS Defiance-sunk; Black Prince (Captain TP Bonham)-sunk; Duke of Edinburgh; Warrior-foundered. Thomas joined the Royal Navy on 5 June 1913 on a 12 year engagement (5 years RN, 7 years Royal Fleet Reserve). He served in the following ships and shore establishments: Victory II, 5 June 1913-31 October 1913 (Stoker 2nd Class); HMS Vindictive, 1 November 1913-20 April 1914; HMS Black Prince, 21 April 1914-31 May 1916 (20 August 1914, Stoker 1st Class). His service record was annotated, ‘NP 4065/1916, DD 31st May 1916, Killed in action.’ HMS Black Prince was lost at the Battle of Jutland, 31 May/1 June 1916, blowing up after being heavily shelled by SMS Thueringen and four other German battleships. There were no survivors (857 casualties). Thomas's body was not recovered for burial and he is commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. CWGC - History of Portsmouth Naval Memorial (extract): 'After the First World War, an appropriate way had to be found of commemorating those members of the Royal Navy who had no known grave, the majority of deaths having occurred at sea where no permanent memorial could be provided. An Admiralty committee recommended that the three manning ports in Great Britain - Chatham, Plymouth and Portsmouth - should each have an identical memorial of unmistakable naval form, an obelisk, which would serve as a leading mark for shipping.' (www.cwgc.org)
Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 9 June 1916: ‘Kemp. On May 31st, lost on HMS Black Prince, TH Kemp, 1st Class Stoker, age 23 years, of Bulwell. Deeply mourned. Father, mother, brothers, and sisters.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) The Bundeswehr Museum of Military History, Dresden: Painting, oil on canvas: ‘SMS Thueringen destroys the English cruiser Black Prince in a night battle at 2am on 1 June.’ Clause Bergen (1885-1964). Caption: 'Present given by the commander of Thueringen, Captain Hans Kuesel, to his nephew in 1921. Bergen established his reputation as a marine painter with depictions of the Battle of Jutland (31 May-1 June 1916). When the Imperial German Fleet returned home, he was in Wilhelmshaven and asked officers involved in the battle to give him detailed accounts of the events.'
Remembered on


  • Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (www.cwgc.org)
    Thomas Harry Kemp - Commemorated on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial. (www.cwgc.org)