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Badge - World War I, Mothers & Widows, Private Albert Kemp, circa 1919 Object Reg. No: HT 13722

Alternative Name(s): Mothers & Widows Ribbon

Presented in memory of Pte Albert Edward Kemp, who was killed in action on the Western Front in World War I in 1917. The ribbon would have been given to either his wife or his mother.

Albert Edward Kemp was a 32-year-old butcher living in Caulfield and married to Annie Josephine, when he enlisted. He and Annie had a daughter, Ethel Mavis, and a baby son, George Percival. Albert enlisted at Royal Park on 4 October 1916, and was assigned to the 22nd Reinforcements, 6th Battalion - regimental number 6800. His battalion left Melbourne 25 October 1916 - just 21 days after he enlisted. He was shipped to France on 27 March and was taken on strength on 4 April. On 21 September 1917, Albert died in the trenches in Glencorse Wood, Belgium. His body was never recovered. He is commemorated at 29 The Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium.

According to the Australian War Memorial, the badge was officially sanctioned in Military Order 64 of 1919. The Barrier Miner (NSW) announced on 4 June 1919 that badges were now being issued to the mothers and widows of those 'who have been killed in action or died of wounds or other causes while serving, or who after discharge died from causes directly attributable to wounds or sickness incurred while on service'. Appropriate wear was prescribed: 'When the badge is worn it should be attached to the dress, on the right breast'. A total of 30,000 badges were ordered (although over 60,000 were killed). Delivery was delayed due to power restrictions during 'the strike' (thousands of seamen were involved in industrial action during 1919), and the contractor struggling to produce the necessary quality for the metal bars.
Black ribbon with one star in card box. Inscribed. Golden wattle motif; rising sun with crown at centre; one star at bottom
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 10.50 cm (Height), 6.20 cm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: death mourning, domestic life, wars conflicts, world war i 1914-1918, making history - kemp mourning collection
Themes this item is part of: Albert Edward Kemp Mourning Collection, Albert Edward Kemp, AIF (1884-1917), 6th Battalion Diary Extract, September 1917, Public Life & Institutions Collection
On Display at: Melbourne Museum
Primary Classification: MILITARY HISTORY
Secondary Classification: Service
Tertiary Classification: presentations
Date Made: 1919 or later
In Memory Of: Private Albert Kemp - 6th Battalion, Australian Imperial Force (AIF), Malvern, Victoria, Australia

6800 Pte A.E. Kemp, 6th Battalion, A.I.F.
References: Australian War Memorial Encyclopaedia, 'The Mothers and Widows Badge', http://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/badges/mothers_widows.asp, accessed 27 Mar 2013.

MOTHERS AND WIDOWS' BADGES. (1919, June 4). Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954), p. 1. Retrieved March 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article45485550.

WAR BADGES FOR WOMEN. (1919, September 19). The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), p. 6. Retrieved March 27, 2013, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article4687136.
  1. [Book], Garrie Hutchinson, Remember Them; a Guide to Victoria's Wartime Heritage, Hardie Grant Books, Melbourne, 2009, 30-2 Pages


Dr Richard E Reid Posted on 16 Oct 2011 5:29 PM
Nice piece about Albert Kemp and his wife's 'Widow's Badge'. Just a point about the Menin Gate. It is a memorial to the missing and he is not 'buried' there but commemorated by name. The '29'is Panel 29, where Kemp is listed amomng the other missing of the 6th Battalion in the Ieper (Ypres) area. His AIF record at the National Arrchies actually indicates that he was taken on strength of the 6th Battalion in France on 4 April 1917.

Hope this helps.

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