Sergeant Edward Harold Kemp was born in Maldon, Essex, England, on June 20, 1883. Kemp spent several years with the Northwest Mounted Police before becoming a police constable in Ladysmith, British Columbia, prior to the war. In February of 1915 he left for Victoria, B.C., to join the militia infantry’s 88th Regiment Victoria Fusiliers, shortly followed there by his enlistment with the 48th Battalion of the Canadian Expeditionary Force on March 23, 1915.
Kemp arrived in England in July of 1915 and was transferred to the 2nd Brigade Canadian Mounted Rifles (C.M.R.) in October that same year, and proceeded with them to France on October 24, 1915.He was with the 4th Battalion C.M.R. when he was reported missing after action in June of 1916. His body was reported found three months later by an officer of the 4th German Army. His date of death was declared as June 2, 1916, and he was posthumously promoted to the rank of Sergeant. Kemp is commemorated at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Belgium.
Kemp’s name is listed on the Ladysmith Cenotaph along with forty other soldiers who were born, lived, or worked in Ladysmith, British Columbia, and who died during the First World War. Seven of these soldiers, including Kemp, had wartime letters published by The Ladysmith Chronicle newspaper (see links below).
The complete list of soldiers in the can be found in the Ladysmith and District Historical Society collection.
Sgt. Kemp’s Service Record (Serv/Reg# 430787) can be viewed/downloaded in pdf format through Library and Archives Canada.
Burial information is available at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A memorial page honouring Kemp can be visited online at the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
His name is inscribed on the Ladysmith Cenotaph, Rotary Peace Garden, Ladysmith, British Columbia.
A collection of WWI soldiers' letters published in The Ladysmith Chronicle was undertaken by the Ladysmith & District Historical Society through their work with the Ladysmith Archives.