Joseph Petrie Kemp

Joseph Petrie Kemp

Royal Army Service Corps

Died 4th November 1918

Private J. P. Kemp  –  R.A.S.C.

Joseph Petrie Kemp was born at Aboyne on 17 February 1889. He was the son of Albert Kemp, woollen manufacturer who was born at Leochel Cushnie, and Annie Winks Kemp (nee Petrie), born Kincardine O’Neil.  In 1891 the family were living at Waulkmill, Dess. In 1901 he was the eldest child living in the household at Gordon Mills, Aboyne on census night, having four younger brothers and two sisters. By 1911 the family had moved, were living at 61 Cross Street, Fraserburgh and had begun a relationship with the new-fangled motor car, as Albert was working as a doctor’s chauffeur and Joseph as a domestic chauffeur. On 4 April 1913, at Glasgow, Joseph Kemp married Janet MasonYoung, known as Jenny and described on the marriage certificate as a “Vocalist”.
By 1916 Kemp was working for the Royal Hotel, Fraserburgh, as appears from a report in the Aberdeen Journal on 19 April 1916 to the effect that, at a meeting of the conscription appeal tribunal before Provost Finlayson, “…Joseph Kemp (29), motorman at the Royal Hotel, was appealed for by his employer, Mr Alex. Davidson, who said Kemp was a married man, and had three brothers serving…..”. Conditional (and presumably temporary) exemption was granted, and in due course Kemp was recruited to the Royal Army Service Corps (M338240) and the 42nd Motor Ambulance Convoy.  On 18 November 1918 the Aberdeen Journal carried the news of his death two weeks previously on 4 November 1918: “Private Joseph Kemp, motor transport, A.S.C…… was formerly chauffeur at the Royal Hotel, Fraserburgh. His wife and children reside in Glasgow”.  The children were Agnes aged 5 and Joseph aged 3. The Aberdeen Weekly Journal of 27 December 1918 has  a photo of Kemp wearing goggles over his cap at a rakish angle – one of several occupying much of a full page spread under the heading “DIED FOR KING AND COUNTRY”.

He was buried at Étaples Military Cemetery.
In July the following year Kemp was commemorated along with 46 other members of local masonic lodges, as a member of Solomon Lodge, at a memorial service in Fraserburgh Parish Church conducted by five ministers of the town with the Fraserburgh Pipe Band.