Albert Joseph Kempster AM

b. 23/08/1874 Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire.   d. 02/01/1952 St Martin, Jersey.

DATE OF AM ACTION: 28/09/1910 Pontac, Jersey.

Albert J Kempster AM

Albert Joseph Kempster came to Jersey Channel Islands in the early 1890s. He was attached to the Northampton Regiment at the time and married a Breton, Eleanor Grosvalet in 1898 not long before being sent to South Africa where war had broken out and from where he was later invalided home with enteric fever. In 1900 he was appointed to the permanent staff of the Royal Jersey Militia.

They had twelve children: John, Cecil, Jim, Arthur, Robert, Phyllis, Doris, Charlotte, Louis, George, Joan, Yvonne.

He possessed an exceedingly good voice singing opera and operetta. He was an amateur boxer, gymnast and swordsman boxing for the British army in front of the Prince of Wales and the German Kaiser. He was awarded the Albert Medal when at great risk to himself he stopped a runaway horse and carriage.

In 1908 he finished fifth in the running deer single shots competition as well as in the running deer double shots event.

Four years later he won the bronze medal as member of the British team in the team 30 metre military pistol event as well as in the team 50 metre military pistol competition. In the individual 50 metre pistol event he finished 24th.



On the 28th September, 1910, a carriage containing two ladies and two children was being driven near Pontac, in the Island of Jersey, when one of the horses stumbled and the driver was thrown into the road owing to the reins breaking when he tried to pull up. The horses became frightened and bolted at full speed, travelling at a furious pace towards St. Helier. The horses and carriage passed Sergeant-Major Kempster, who was cycling in the same direction, and he promptly gave chase, and, getting alongside the carriage, succeeded in the very difficult feat of obtaining a foothold on the carriage step and transferring himself from his bicycle to the carriage. Climbing along the pole of the carriage the Sergeant-Major managed to get hold of the broken reins and succeeded in bringing the frightened horses to a standstill. Had it not been for his presence of mind and determined courage the occupants of the carriage might have met with serious and possibly fatal injuries, for in about another minute the run-aways would have reached the closed gates of a railway crossing.