Charles Brett Kempe

Rank Rifleman
Service No 3319
Date of Death 02/07/1916
Age 19
Regiment/Service London Regiment (Queen Victoria's Rifles) 1st/9th Battalion
Cemetery Warlincourt Halte British Cemetery, Saulty, France. The cemetery is located some 22 kms from Arras and was used from June 1916 to May 1917 by the 20th and 43rd Casualty Clearing Stations. It contains 1,266 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.


Charles was the only child of Charles Alfred (d.1914), a stock exchange clerk, and Ethel Mary Kempe (nee Oake), who were married in St Paul’s Canonbury, Islington, on 30th September 1893.

Charles was born in the autumn of 1896 when his parents were living at 25 Cromwell Road, Stroud Green. He was baptised at St John’s, Upper Holloway on 6th December 1896. By 1901, his father was working as a member of the London Stock Exchange, and the family were living in Acacia Lodge, The Limes Avenue, New Southgate.

Subsequently, the family moved to Manor Mansions, Stanhope Avenue, Finchley and Charles was educated at Christ’s College Finchley. He was confirmed by the Bishop of London at St Luke’s, Finchley on 9th April 1911, along with Jesse Oulet, who is also remembered on the St Luke’s Memorial. The family address at the time of the confirmation is listed as 3a Manor Mansions. At that time, his father was a self-employed jobber at the London Stock Exchange.

Sadly, his father, Charles, died at the Cottage Hospital in Finchley (now Finchley Memorial Hospital) on 5th September 1914, aged just 47. The St Luke’s Finchley monthly magazine for October 1914 records that he was buried on 9th September 1914, aged 48), Charles left only £48 to his widow. His residence at the time of death is listed as 8 Southern Terrace, Squires Lane.

Charles served in France and Belgium between 25th March and 29th May 1915 and 30th March 1916 until his death. The Queen Victoria's Rifles suffered heavy losses at the Battle of Gommecourt on 1st July 1916. Charles appears to have been injured on the first day of the battle of the Somme and died the next day of his wounds.

Charles’ mother died in Wandsworth on 3rd June 1918, aged 50.

The St Luke’s Finchley monthly magazine of August 1916, records that Charles was a member of the church’s choir and ‘the only son of his mother who was left a widow at the end of 1914 – the last also of his family, there being no other relations of the same name. He was nephew of Mrs Trower of Mountfield Road.’