Company Sergeant Major Arthur Stemp

Thank you to Janet Mata for the following research.

Arthur Stemp was the fourth of seven children of James and Susan Stemp of Great Bookham. James Stemp earned his living as a gardener. Young Arthur was baptised on 3 March 1878 at St Nicholas Church in Bookham.

Arthur Stemp1881 Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Arthur Stemp1881 Census © Ancestry.co.uk

In 1881 the family were living at Beckley Cottages, Great Bookham

Arthur Stemp 1891 Census © Ancestry.co.uk
Arthur Stemp 1891 Census © Ancestry.co.uk

In 1891 were living at Northend, again in Great Bookham. By 1901 the Stemp family were still in Bookham, but by then Arthur, aged 23, had left home.

Arthur Stemp 1911 Census Little Warley, Essex © findmypast.co.uk
Arthur Stemp 1911 Census Little Warley, Essex © findmypast.co.uk

The 1911 census shows Arthur Stemp as a Colour Sergeant, a single man, at Warley Barracks, Brentwood in Essex.

Arthur Stemp marriage certificate © findmypast.co.uk
Arthur Stemp marriage certificate © findmypast.co.uk

In April that year he married Jessie Chitty of Westcott at St Nicholas Church in Great Bookham. Prior to her marriage Jessie was a general domestic servant at the “Blucher” Hotel in Effingham, employed by a licensed victualler, Charles Dodman and his wife.

The 1891 census return shows 7 year old Jessie Chitty living with her family (father a general labourer, and Jessie one of six children) in Chapel Lane, Westcott. Jessie is listed as a scholar, her two older brothers aged just 12 and 13, are both listed as “Carter Boy, Agricultural Labourer”.

Jessie and Arthur Stemp had a son, Arthur John, born on 5 July 1912 in army barracks in Essex.

Arthur Stemp Roll of Honour © CWGC
Arthur Stemp Roll of Honour © CWGC
Arthur Stemp Medal Roll Index Card © Ancestry.co.uk
Arthur Stemp Medal Roll Index Card © Ancestry.co.uk

Arthur Stemp died during the Battle of Gehluvelt, just east of Ypres, and his name is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial. He was listed as missing in action, assumed killed.

The Battle of Gehluvelt was fought from 29-31 October 1914. The German troops aimed to break through the British line and so clear the way to take Ypres. This German assault ultimately failed, but there was huge loss of life.

After the war, Jessie Stemp returned to live in Westcott and remarried in 1922.

Son of                          James and Susannah Stemp of Great Bookham, Surrey
Husband of                  Jessie Ethel May Parrott (formerly Stemp), of 8, Bailey Rd., Westcott, Dorking, Surrey.

Regiment                     “B” Company. 1st Battalion. The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment
Number                        L/5225

Date of Death              31st October 1914
Place of Death             Ypres, Belgium
Cause of Death            Killed in Action

Age                              36

Memorial                       Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial