Next of kin plaque : Private J O Kemp, 34 Battalion, AIF

Unit 34th Australian Infantry Battalion
Place Europe: Western Front
Accession Number REL34693
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bronze
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom
Date made 1920s
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918
Description

Bronze Next of Kin plaque showing Britannia and the British lion with 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' around the edge. The name of the commemorated soldier 'JAMES OLIVER KEMP' appears in raised letters within a rectangle on the right hand side of the plaque. The plaque's original matte brown finish has been removed at some time after its issue. The plaque is contained in its original cardboard case.

History / Summary

James Oliver 'Ol' Kemp was born at Wallsend, New South Wales and was a 26 year old carter, working at Plattsburg when he joined the Wallabies recruiting march and enlisted in the AIF on 22 January 1916. The march had begun at Walgett in 1915 and ended at Newcastle early the following year. Kemp was assigned as a private to C Company, 34 Battalion, with the service number 815. Initial training for these original members of the battalion took place at Maitland Showground and the battalion was popularly known as 'Maitland's Own'. Kemp sailed for overseas service from Sydney aboard HMAT A20 Hororata on 2 May 1916. After further training in England he arrived in France in November 1916. He suffered multiple shrapnel wounds in Belgium during the early stages of the Third Battle of Ypres on 18 July 1917, and died the same day at 2 Australian Casualty Clearing Station. He is buried at the Trois-Arbres Cemetery at Steenwerck, France.