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Name: KEMP, Pendennis Hosking Robinson 'Dennis'

Nee: son of John and Bessie Kemp

Birth Date: 12 Oct 1916 Elgeyo

Death Date: 6 Oct 1956 Kitale

First Date: 1917

Last Date: 1956

Profession: Farmer, soldier, policeman, District Officer

Area: Kitale

Married: Eily Margaret ('Peggy') North Lewis b. 5 Feb 1916 East London, S. Africa, d. 29 June 2006 New Zealand (dau of Ivor North Lewis)

Children: Colin (23 Oct 1946 Kenya-23 Oct 1946); adopted daughter Mary Jane

Book Reference: EAWL, Sitrep 2

War Service: KAR, lieutenant, North Africa in WW2

School: Eldoret

General Information:

One of the original '500' men in the Kenya Regt. in 1937. (KR 338)
Obituary - 6th October 1956 - The passing of Dennis Kemp leaves yet another gap in the ranks of Kenya born lads.
Born in Elgeyo in 1916 young Dennis moved up to the Trans Nzoia with his parents in 1917, and he was to have celebrated his 40th birthday on October 12th, Dennis was a member of the Kenya Regt. at the outbreak of the Hitler-Mussolini war in 1940 and saw service as a platoon commander with the 1/2 KAR in Abyssinia and Somaliland and took part in the evacuation of Berbera.
At the declaration of the M.M. Emergency Dennis, with his special knowledge of the local languages and the African, found a place with the K.P.R. screening team where he did most useful work, and for the past two years he has served as a District Officer, where he was held in high esteem by European, Asian and African alike. Our deepest simpathy goes out to his mother Mrs Pearson, to Peggy his wife and to his sister Iris and brother-in-law George.  
(Appreciation) - It is not hard to die at the age of 40 if, like Dennis Kemp, a District Officer in the Trans Nzoia you leave behind you a record of good and faithful service to Queen and country. A son of Kenya, Dennis was born at Elgeyo in 1916, after his parents migrated from S. Africa. His father, John Kemp, a Cornishman, went to S. Africa to serve in the Boer War. There he married Miss Bessie Robinson, of Queenstown. The spirit of adventure brought them to B.E.A. in 1908. They went to farm on the Uasin Gishu Plateau, but later they joined the first settlers in the Trans Nzoia moving to their farm: "Kassowai" about 1913, where Dennis grew up and acquired the perfect understanding of local languages, which was, in later years, to make him a valuable District Officer.
Life in the unhealthy Trans Nzoia in the early days was not easy. Dennis's mother was savagely attacked by a native who ran amok and there was a near battle on the lonely farm. A few years later his only brother was accidentally killed in a game trap when he was impaled on a spear. His father, who was a founder member of the Mount Elgon Lodge, died in 1929.
In the 1939-45 war, Dennis was commissioned in the KAR and served in Abyssinia and Somalia. When the Italians overran British Somaliland, Dennis' company was with the gallant force that fought the rearguard action at Tugargen Gap which enabled our troops to escape by sea at Berbera.
In 1945 Dennis married Miss Peggy North Lewis, daughter of Mr Ivan North Lewis and he farmed for a time in the Trans Nzoia. When the State of Emergency was declared, his thorough knowledge of languages and tribal customs led to an appointment in the Special Branch of the Kenya Police and later to his post as a District Officer.
It is not possible nor expedient for me to enlarge on the sterling services he rendered in the Trans Nzoia District but I know I am not alone in saying that a much worse state of affairs may have developed without his vigilant and untiring efforts. All the time he was working for our good and dealing with hundreds of suspects and his health was declining. He suffered a great deal and underwent several operations. It was tragic that a fortnight before he was due to sail for S. Africa with his family, he suddenly died. To his wife and baby daughter, and his mother and sister (Mrs. George Ulyate) we extend our deep sympathy. (R.B.B.M.) - Source: Mrs Peggy Kemp

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