Written on the Western Front during World War I by Private Albert Edward Kemp to his wife, son and daughter. It is unclear if the postcard was ever sent - it has no postage markings, and may be one of several postcards which were amongst his possessions returned from the battlefields.
Albert Edward Kemp was a 32-year-old butcher living in Caulfield and married to Annie Josephine, when he enlisted. He and Annie had a daughter, Ethel Mavis, and a baby 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 he enlisted. He was shipped to France on 27 March and was taken on strength on 4 April. On 21 September 1917, Albert died in the trenches in Glencorse Wood, Belgium. His body was never found. He is commemorated at 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.
Written in purple pencil from Bert to George, Ethel and Annie.
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 Glencorse Wood, 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.
Purchase from Mr Jeff Kemp, 07 Dec 2006
Postcard, Black & White
Text, front: 'THE BURIAL OF TWO BRITISH SOLDIERS ON THE BATTLEFIELD.' Text, reverse, printed: 'Passed / by / Censor / POST CARD / Daily Mail BATTLE PICTURES / Official War Photographs/CROWN COPYRIGHT RESERVED / Series 5 No. 35 / Into this battle-field grave two dead / British soldiers have been reverently / placed, while the Padre reads the / solemn words of the Burial Service.' Hand-written: 'Dear George Ethel and Annie / It is a very solemn postcard to send / but it is quite true and I have done some of / this work while under heavy fire of our enemies but neverless it touched your heart / a bit but we feel quite pleased with / ourselves when we can get to our dead / comrades & boys to buried the dead and / give them a decent grave I shall closed / with fondest of love to all yours. / Bert / Pte A.E. Kemp'.
Type of item
8.9 cm (Length), 13.9 cm (Width)
[Book] Hutchinson, Garrie. 2009. Remember Them; a Guide to Victoria's Wartime Heritage., 30-2 Pages