Remembrance - 6th Royal West Kent Regiment 1914-18. By Sidney T Kemp

1 6 Friday, August 28.2009 Kent Messenger (KM) K Q SERVING KENT AND THU COUNTY TOWN FOR 150 YEARS From the KM files Chlldrsn clamber on a tank outside the town hall, Maidstone A PICTURE which captured the boyhood fun of cllmblnq on a tank brought back lom o wartime memories for one man. Oliv#r Burrows' wife and daughter rocognlsed him as a boy clambering on a tank parked outside Maidstone town hall In a picture published In the Kent Messenger's The Way Wo Were. Mr Burrows, now 80, from Cranbrook Hoad, Frlttendon, doesn't remember the picture being taken, but his family believes ho Is the boy In light coloured shorti and opon shirt sitting directly above the turret. It Is thought to have been taken during within the first two years ot the Second World War. Mr Burrows recalled the time the pilot of an American P-47 Thunderbolt flew just above the tops of the buildings in Maidstone's town centre to impress a local girl. During the latter years of the war, Maidstone was attacked by VI and V2 flying bombs. Mr Burrows thought he had collected "a nice souvenir", part of a VI 'doodlebug' but, he said: "Along came the A RP and took it off me." The photograph was one of 3,500 Images on glass negatives acquired by Rex Cadman, organiser of the War & Peace Show, held at the Hop Farm Family Park in Beltrlng, Paddock Wood. j www.kenLrnessenger.co.uk To advertise: 01622 695777 Annivenary logo designed by Emma llewsllyn age 10 M” ''1 W ar diary reunited with soldier’ s family by H elen F airley h!airley<$thekmqroup.cauk A FIRST World War diary is set to be reunited w ith the family of its author. We printed a story in last week’s Kent Messenger about historian Mike Brown who was trying to track down the family of Sidney T Kemp, from Wrotham, after Mr Kemp’s diary came into his possession. Mr Brown gave us some excerpts from the diary, which are reproduced here. But while he knew that Mr Kemp died in 1975 and had a brother called Fred, he had been unable to track down any information about his sister. Following the story we were contacted by Dave Hollands from Maidstone, who was related by marriage to Mr Kemp. He knew Mr Kemp’s sister, who was called Hephzibah Victoria Kemp. She was married to Mr H olland’s great- uncle. Like Mr Kemp, Hephzibah was bom in Australia before moving to the UK. The siblings lived in H ailing in 1906/1907 before moving to Oxen Hoath Estate near Wrotham. Heph7.ibah married W illiam Manser in 1913 and they lived in South Street, Barming. Mr Hollands said: “I am interested in family history and in particular relatives who served in the two world wars. I am currently actively engaged in researching a number of military relatives from the 1880’s onwards.” Mr Brown was thrilled to learn that a relative of Mr Kemp’s had been in touch and is looking forward to showing him the diary. ‘ Ethel was 19 but oh, wasn’ t she lovely3 T he year 1914 w ill be remembered in history not for the weather or - who won the Cup, but for the start of the most terrible war. I had been working as a gardener at Oxen Hoath Hadlow and although 1 was 23 years of age on April 5th, I had not yet met the woman who I wished to be married to. But on April 13th, which was Easter Monday, I met Ethel Ashdown and I know that we loved each other from that first meeting. Ethel was nineteen years of age but oh, wasn't she lovely.... On Sunday 13th August clearing up parties were sent into captured trenches by our Colonel to clear up. Charlie Moon was in charge of one party of B Coy and as he went down the steps into a German dug-out he trod on a Mills bomb that had the firing pin partly pulled out. The bomb went off, blowing off one of his feet. He was taken down to hospital where he later died, not knowing if he had been awarded the Victoria Cross for his gallantry in March in the Craters. Later we were told he had been awarded the Military Medal. We lost a good friend in Cliarlie, who was not only a fine soldier but he always behaved as a gentleman should. 1 wrote to his parents at Southborough, and they told me that their youngest son, serving in the Royal Navy Division, was also killed on that day, and the loss of these two sons made a loss of all four sons in three months. Sec what war does, it spares no-one if your name is on the list to die. 11 J 1 t r r I
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