Norman Kemp


Norman’s paternal grandparents were Joshua Joseph Kemp, born in 1839, and Elizabeth Lavers, born in 1843, both in Cork. Between 1863 and 1870 Joshua was a grocer and he also had an Italian warehouse and his address was 32 Great George’s St, Cork. They married on 10 April 1862. In the 1911 census the family lived in 11, Dyke Parade, Cork City. Joshua was a house and land agent. Elizabeth had 11 children born alive, 5 of whom were still alive in 1911.

The maternal grandparents were John Woodhouse and Elizabeth Ann Cheetham. John was born in Preston about 1829 and Elizabeth in Salford about 1831. They married at St Philip’s church, Salford, on 29 September 1853. They had 9 children, of whom Emily Maud, Norman’s mother, was the seventh. Mary, Frances, Elizabeth, John and James were all born in Goosnargh. Herbert, Emily and Alfred were born in Farnley, near Leeds, and Edward in Sunderland. In 1861 they lived at Park Cottage, Whittingham Lane, Whittingham, and John was the curate of Goosnargh. At this point they had 5 children and a servant. Elizabeth died on 27 March 1871. John remarried. His second wife, Jane, was born in London about 1828. There is no record of any children. In 1871 John was living with 6 children in Bishop Wearmouth, Durham and was a curate. In 1881 John and Jane were living with 6 children at The Vicarage, 15 Byker Village, Northumberland, and John was the vicar of Byker. John Jnr was now a teacher.


Richard Lavers Kemp was born at No 6, South Center, City Cork on 3 November 1866. He was the oldest child of Joshua and Elizabeth. His name appears in the Cork Constitution newspaper on 7 June 1888 when he won second prize in the President’s Prizes of the Church of Ireland, Cork Young Men’s Association. The subject was the Book of Nehemiah, 1st and 2nd epistles to Timothy. In 1889 his name appears in the same newspaper, advertising properties to rent. For £12 you could rent unfurnished lodgings with piped water. His address was 32 Great George’s St, Cork. It would seem that he either worked with his father or had taken over the family business.

He subsequently obtained an MA degree and by 1895 he lived in Chadderton. It is not clear exactly when he entered the church but at the time of his marriage in 1893 he was Senior Curate of Byker. By 1901 he was a clergyman in Blackpool. His address was St Paul’s Schools, Egerton Rd, Blackpool. In 1911 his address was given as St Paul’s Vicarage, Egerton Rd, Blackpool. On 15 December 1911, the Manchester Courier reported that the previous day the Bishop of Manchester instituted the Rev Richard Lavers Kemp to the rectory and parish church of St James, Moss Side. From 22 April 1913 until 5 September 1918 he was at St Mary’s church, Radcliffe. From 1918 to 1929 he was rector of Christ Church and his name can be seen on the rectors board in the church. On the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website he is referred to as the Rev Canon Kemp.

He died on 24 December 1952 at King Charles Vicarage, Tunbridge Wells, also having an address at 70 Barnhorn Rd, Bexhill-on-Sea, Sussex. Probate was awarded in London on 7 February 1953 to Brian Charles Lavers Kemp, schoolmaster, in the sum of £2294 6s 11d.

Emily Maud Woodhouse was born in Farnley on 3 May 1864 and was baptised on 20 September 1864. Her first marriage was to the Rev John Peart. He died on 28 March 1891 at Netherwitton, Northumberland. Probate was awarded to Emily on 3 July 1891 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the sum of £401 11s. At the time, Emily’s address was 12 St Mary’s Avenue, Harrogate. They had a child, Mona, born about 1892 in Harrogate. Richard and Emily married on 27 November 1893 at St Mary’s church, Harrogate, according to the Cork Constitution. The ceremony was carried out by the Rev John Woodhouse, vicar of St Peter’s church, Middlesbrough (brother of the bride), assisted by the Rev G R Taylor, vicar of Byker (brother-in-law of the bride) and the Rev Herbert Woodhouse, Senior Curate of Otley (brother of the bride).

They went on to have 2 children, Norman, born in 1895, and Brian, born in 1901.


Norman was born in Oldham and baptised on 4 June 1895 at Christ Church, Chadderton. At the age of 6 he was living with his family in Blackpool. By 1911 he was being educated at Rossall School, Fleetwood, and his name appears on the school war memorial. He held a mathematical scholarship at the school. He was head of his house and captain of the choir and the hockey team. He left Rossall in July 1914 and won an open mathematical exhibition at Magdalen College, Cambridge, with the intention of taking holy orders. At the outbreak of war he obtained a commission in the Lancashire Fusiliers. He went to the front in May 1915, becoming very popular with his men. He was wounded in the head and thigh on 8 December 1915. He was invalided home a second time in April 1916, when he was bombing officer for his battalion. He rejoined his unit on 14 July 1916.

In September 1916 he was a second lieutenant in the 5th Battalion, Lancashire Fusiliers. He died in action in France on 9 September 1916 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D.