WW1 John Alfred Kemp 13/702

John Alfred Kemp [1]

John Alfred Kemp (known as Jack) was born 3rd Nov 1892 to Emily Sarah and Benjamin John Kemp, Queen Street tailor and outfitter of Parnell and then Remuera.

B J M Kemp was a vestryman at St Mark’s Church Remuera. (1) (2) Jack attended Remuera Primary School along with his brothers Benjamin Kemp (Service Number 58211) and Samuel Kemp (Service Number 13/703). Schoolboy Jack and his sister (Theo)Dora participated in Auckland’s Horticultural Society’s annual flower show in 1905 and 06 and won top three placings for their geraniums and pelargoniums and flowering plants. (3) (4).

Jack was working as a carpenter with William Becker in Whakatane when war broke out in 1914. He attested for service on 27 October 1914 in the Auckland Mounted Rifles, described as 5’ 7” with grey eyes and fair hair. He embarked as a trooper on the Verdala on 12 December 1914 bound for Egypt. Men and horses disembarked at Alexandria on 13 December 1915 and travelled by train to Cairo. Based at nearby Zeitoun Camp, they trained in the surrounding desert for operations against the Ottoman Empire that were expected to be fought in similar terrain. (5)

At the end of June 1915 Jack was posted to the Dardanelles where he was wounded on 11 July. He was admitted to a New Zealand Field Ambulance with shrapnel wound and paralysis of the lower limbs. On 15 July he was transferred to the Hospital Ship Sicilia at Anzac Cove to be moved to England. He arrived at Malta and was described as ‘dangerously ill’. On the 3 September he was reported as ‘out of danger’. However by 7 September he was again described as dangerously ill at Gibraltar. Jack died of his wounds in Gibraltar on 17 September 1915, aged 22 years. (6). He is buried at the Gibraltar (North Front) Cemetery, Gibraltar.

John Alfred Kemp is remembered on the Remuera Primary School World War One Gates 1914-1918, 25 Dromorne Road, Remuera Auckland 1050.

HEROES OF THE DARDANELLES NEW ZEALANDERS WITH THE AUSTRALIANS. ANOTHER LIST OF CASUALTIES. The casualty lists issued since Saturday include the names of several New Zealanders serving with the Australian Force. Of these, two have been killed in action, while several have been wounded or otherwise invalided. DIED OF WOUNDS. JOHN ALFRED KEMP. Auckland Mounted Rifles at Gibraltar, September 17 1915 — Mrs. E. S. Kemp. (Glen Massey. via Ngraruawahia (mother) (7)