Letter confirming an earlier telegram advising of the death of Private Kemp, killed in action 21 September 1917. It is addressed to his widow, Annie Kemp.
Printed form letter on off-white paper, completed with purple typed font and signature. Australian coat of arms at top centre. Deep crease/tear across centre, repaired with adhesive tape.
Albert Edward Kemp was a 32-year-old butcher, living at 8 Normanby Ave, Caulfield and married to Annie Josephine, when he enlisted. Born in South Yarra, he was a small man, 5'4½", and weighed only eight stone. He and Annie had a daughter, Ethel Mavis, and a son, George Percival.
Albert enlisted at Royal Park on 4 October 1916, and was assigned to the 22nd Reinforcements, 6th Battalion - regimental number 6800. His battalion left Melbourne 25 October 1916 - just 21 days after Albert enlisted - on the "Ulysses" with two officers and 150 O/Rs. The ship arrived in Plymouth three days after Christmas.
A little over one month later, on 1 February 1917, Albert was disciplined for being absent without leave from midnight and was apprehended the next afternoon. He forfeited 18 days' pay for his offence. He was shipped to France on 27 March, and probably went into action in the trenches. On 13 July Albert was again in trouble, this time for disobeying orders from a superior officer. (It is unclear what his punishment was, but "48 hours" may refer to imprisonment).
Two months later, on 21 September 1917, Albert died in the trenches in Glencross Wood, France (according to his memorial medal and the Roll of Honour, but his Field Service record says he died in Belgium). He is buried at 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium. His name is located at panel 47 in the Commomorative Area at the Australian War Memorial.
Some time in 1918, Albert's belongings were sent in error to a family who had lost a member by the same name in Wonthaggi, and Annie received that man's belongings. In June she was asked to return the other Pte Kemp's belongings.
Annie received a war pension, but appears to have fallen on hard times - suggested by her need for assistance with a grocery bill approved in one of the documents. She moved to 19 Raleigh St, Malvern in 1922. It is unclear what happened to Ethel, as only George is mentioned from the early 1920s. Further research is required.
The family's home at 8 Normanby Ave is still standing, largely with original façade; their street overall is also largely original.
Text: Australian Imperial Force/HEAD-QUARTERS, 3RD MILITARY DISTRICT/Melbourne, 31st October 1917/Dear Madam/Referring to my telegram of 18th instant/to the Reverand White, Malvern/I beg to confirm the sad intelligence mentioned.therein to the effect that your husband No./6800a PRIVATE A.E. KEMP was killed in/action on 21/9/17/and also to convey to you the regret and/sympathy of Their Majesties the King and/Queen and of the Commonwealth in the loss/you have sustained.
Type of item
132 mm (Width), 209 mm (Height)