KEMP, Ernest Albert

1st World War
Date of Birth
Date Attested
Attested at
Clinton, Ontario
Original Unit
Regimental Number
Date of Death
Age at Death
23 years 2 months
Biographical Summary

DIVISIONAL UNIT:        3rd Canadian Infantry Division
                                             9th Infantry Brigade
                                             58th Battalion - Central Ontario
                                             Canadian Infantry Corps
SERVICE NO:                   654572
RESIDENCE:                    Goderich – Ontario 
DATE OF BIRTH:            August 1, 1894
                                             Bayfield – Goderich Township – County of Huron – Ontario.
DATE OF DEATH:           October 26, 1917                 23 years     2 months
MEMORIAL:                    Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial – Ieper –
                                             West Vlaanderen – Belgium
                                             Panel 18-24 & Panel 26-30
PARENT:                           Mr. Henry Samuel and Charlotte Kemp – Goderich – Ontario
Occupation:                        Sailor                                    Religion:     Church of England
Enlistment:                         Clinton – March 9, 1916 – 161st Huron Battalion
Enlistment Age:                 21 years     7 months

Private Kemp arrived in Liverpool in mid November 1916 and at the end of November he was Struck off Strength from the 161st Battalion and transferred to the 58th Battalion. On December 1st, he was overseas in France and he joined the 58th Battalion on January 4, 1917.
Private Kemp had previously been reported as missing in action but then it became official that he had lost his life in battle west of Passchendaele.
A battlefield of water and mud was what the 3rd Division advanced through during this first step to take Passchendaele. The Division advanced along the ruined Gravenstafel-Passchendaele Road and on towards the Bellevue Spur. The terrible conditions did not prevent the Canadians from advancing, overrunning the forward enemy positions and hanging on to their gains for a period of time. What forced a retreat was the deadly enemy artillery barrage that fell on them for an extended period of time. After falling back, they dug in and tried to find any kind of cover to protect themselves from the enemy machine guns and artillery. Their advance for the day was 1,000 yards and the Division was not able to achieve its objectives.
The casualties were 2,900 with 600 being killed.
The advance went ahead at 5:40 am under wet and heavy cloud and light winds with artillery support. The enemy artillery responded quickly causing some casualties. The Brigade artillery barrage was advancing but it was found to be slower on the right than on the left and this was causing casualties. The depth of the barrage was 300 yards.
The 58th / 43rd Battalions were the assaulting Battalions – the 52nd Battalion was in support and the 116th Battalion was in reserve.
The advance moved ahead and as they advanced they were able to capture some “pill boxes” at Lamkerk and Dad Trench. Here they came under extreme enemy machine-gun fire from the enemy trenches and heavy enfilade fire from Bellevue Farm to the left of the front.
More heavy enemy fire was coming from Crest Farm and this forced the men to find any cover possible in shell holes for protection. Following this there was a bloody and bitter fight for the control of Contour Trench. At mid-afternoon 64 enemy soldiers stood up and surrendered and this made it possible to consolidate and possess the enemy trenches.
Very heavy casualties were taken during the advance and following battle.
On this night machine gun posts were set up in front of Contour Trench and the enemy made no attempt to counter attack to try and recover what it was they had lost.
This was the kind of day the Battalion found itself in and it is when Private Kemp fell serving his country.
500 men began advancing on this day and at the end of the day the casualties were 61%. 303 men were killed, wounded or missing.