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WW1 Centenary: Grandfather’s war medals displayed with pride

Elizabeth and Brian Kemp with grandson Ben and a framed display they have on Brian's grandfather's WW1 record.

Elizabeth and Brian Kemp with grandson Ben and a framed display they have on Brian's grandfather's WW1 record.

Enoch Kemp’s World War One medals had fascinated his grandson Brian as a child and now have pride of place in his home.

They now make up part of a display about the farm worker who died in 1915 on the wall in the stairwell of his Horringer Home, and his wife Elizabeth has had a poem inspired by Enoch’s story published in an anthology.

Their grandson Ben also has Enoch as a middle name, in memory of his great and great great grandfathers.

But while his family always knew of Enoch and were proud of him, the medals have not always been so safely guarded.

Brian recalls: “My late father was five when his dad was killed in the war. When I was a kid the medals and his death plaque were knocking about the drawers at home. I asked my dad if I could have them.”

Brian has made a case to display them in, which is shown alongside a photograph of his grandfather discovered after his father died and a printout of information the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website had on him.

“It tells you exactly where he is buried,” Brian said. “I’ve always wanted to see his grave.”

It shows Private Enoch Kemp is recorded on the Loos war memorial and served with 1 Battalion Suffolk Regiment. He died, aged 36, on Sunday October 3, 1915.

The first battalion were in Khartoum when war broke out in August 1914, returning home that year before going to France in January 1915. At the time Pvt Kemp died, they were part of 28th Division fighting in the Battle of Loos in which the British lost 59,247 between September 21 and October 10. On October 28 the battalion left for Salonika.

The medals in the display are World War One medal, victory medal and a 1914-15 star, which shows he was called up in 1915. In addition, Pvt Kemp held the Boer War medal with bars showing service at Transvaal, Orange Free State and Cape Colony.

The bronze death memorial disc, nicknamed the ‘death penny’, was sent to all dead soldiers’ families.

If you have a relative who served in World War One, whether as a soldier or doing war work at home, please tell us about them. Contact John Henderson on john.henderson@buryfreepress.co.uk or call 01284 757821.

 

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