Thomas Kemp

1889 – 1st July 1916. Manchester Regiment (20th Battalion)

Thomas Kemp was a former Manchester FC player killed during the Battle of Albert; the first day of the Somme. Kemp was from Leigh, the son of an Atherton Councillor and hotelier. He was educated at Leigh Grammar School. Kemp then worked to become a chartered accountant, and got a job in Manchester with Messrs. Litten, Pownall, Blakey, and Higson, who worked out of an office in Spring Gardens. Kemp now began to shine as a rugby footballer, playing on the wing, and described as a “capital try-getter” by the Manchester Guardian. In the 1908-1909 season, Kemp was the team’s top scorer, crossing 15 times. During his Manchester days Kemp also represented Lancashire and the North of England.

In 1911, Kemp left Manchester behind, after being offered work in Valparaiso, Chile. In January 1915, Kemp decided to return home and enlist. By November he was in France, and the following year prepared for the Somme Offensive with the 20th Manchesters. Kemp was but one of the 21 000 killed on the deadliest day in British military history.

Kemp is buried at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France.

SOURCES
Tameside.gov
Manchester Guardian
World Rugby Museum

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