Ronald C. Kemp - Pilot Certificate No. 80
via email from Elaine Kemp, 7-6-08

via email from Elaine Kemp, 7-3-08
      My Uncle Ronald was born in 1890 in Cultra, Northern Ireland. His parents were Scottish and went to Ireland for reasons of business. He was the seventh of eight children and my father was the youngest. All the boys were educated at Oundle.
     Then I think Ronald joined Short Bros. but I don't know what as. I also don't know where he learned to fly, probably in those days pilots taught themselves. Anyway he had a very early number licence.
     During the first war he was a test pilot. As you know he had a bad accident in which the other chap was killed and for the rest of his life he had pieces of metal inserted into his leg or legs.
     After the war he went to India. I really do not know how he got started there but eventually he started an aerial survey firm in the very early days of that system of mapping. He was based at Calcutta, Dum Dum airport. During the war at great risk he evacuated some people from Burma and many people thought he deserved some recogition for this. . Then he returned to England in 1947 and bought a boat yard on the river Hamble and settled in Curdridge, near Botley, in Hants.
      He had three children, Stephanie, Ian and David. I married David in 1951 in South Africa and we were divorced about 21 years later. At the end of his life Uncle Ronald became very mentally confused and died age 88.
     I expect you want details of his career not personal stuff so I am sorry I do not know more details about this.
Best regards
Elaine Kemp

"Fatal Flying Accident,"
Knoxville Journal and Tribune,
Knoxville, Tennessee: February 24, 1914,
Transcribed by Bob Davis - 2-20-07
"Chichester, Ang (Eng). Feb. 23. - Another fatal flying accident occurred today at Wittering when an army biplane was wrecked and caused the death of a passenger, F. T. Haynes. Haynes was accompanying the pilot, Ronald C. Kemp, a civilian attached to the royal flying corps, who suffered very serious injuries in the fall."

Contributed by Christopher Husgen, 2-25-13
Hi, my 104 year old grandmother died two weeks ago, and a letter that I was reading from my grandfather mentioned a Ronald Kemp, son of a Mr. F. Kemp in Calcutta. I googled Ronald Kemp and Calcutta and saw your posting. The reason I suspect that the Ronald Kemp is the same man, is that my grandfather's letter was written Dec. 26, 1945 in India to his father in Munich. My grandfather was German, and his wife (my grandmother) was at that time a refugee with her 6 year old son (my father) in Singapore trying to get to Calcutta and then Dehra Dun, India. My grandfather was writing his father discussing his efforts to get my grandmother to him. Their story is a long tale, but there are two things that may be of interest to you. My grandfather writes that Ronald was serving in the R.A.F. in India. I assume that is the British Royal Air Force, and also that Ronald spent "some weeks" in Aich. Aich is a small section of the village Pruting in Bavaria near Rosenheim Germany. My extended family still has the property in Aich.

I had heard many stories of the internment that my father and grandparents suffered in their time in the Dutch East Indies, and their travels back to India, and then Europe, and then to the United States where I was born and raised. It seems that Ronald's father, Comdr. F. Kemp, was very helpful to house my grandmother and father in the RAPWI building (not sure what that was) in Calcutta for 8 days , and then helped them to reunite with my grandfather to the north in Dehra Dun. My grandparents were separated for over 4 years.

It does my heart well to learn of such help and kindness during such horribly difficult times.

Hope this note is of interest to you.


     If you search for "Ronald C. Kemp", using the Google search engine, (9-15-07), you will find about ten links, several of which are relevant..

The Round Britain Race
The Daily Mail £10,000 Prize
22 July - 7 August 1911
     On this page you find a fascinating story of the race, illustrated with many photographs and including some important links. It presents a list of the 30 entrants into the race, including D. Graham Gilmour, along with their aeroplanes and country of origin. Sixteen of them are also to be found on my website at this time. (12-14-04)
Editor's Note: As of 9-15-07, the original link was found to be dead. I was able to access an archived website by the use of the program. You can access the site by clicking on the title above.

    1. André Beaumont
  2. H. J. D. Astley
  3. Brindejonc des Moulinais
  4. R.C.Fenwick
  5. Lt.J.C.Porte, R.N.
  6. Ronald C. Kemp
  7. C. Compton Paterson
  8. O.C.Morison
  9. Jules Védrines
10. James Radley
11. G. Blanchet (11)
12. Lt. R.A. Cammell, R.E.
13. E. Audemars
14. James Valentine
15. D.Graham Gilmour
16. Eric Gordon-England
17. Collyns Pizey
18. Pierre Prier
19. C. Howard Pixton
20. S.F. Cody
21. Maurice Tabuteau
22. F.Conway Jenkins
23. Olivier de Montalent
24. Gustav Hamel
25. Lt. Reynolds, R.E.
26. Robert Loraine
27. B. C. Hucks
28. C.T.Weymann
29. Henri Wijnmalen
30. Lt. H.Bier + passenger

Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines - Film
via email from Elaine Kemp, 7-6-08

The aircraft were organised by Air Commodore Allen Wheeler (aviation consultant) and Peter Hillwood of Hampshire Aero Club. They called on the expertise of people who originally flew the aircraft - eg, the experiences of one Ronald Kemp were crucial in deciding to go for the Avro Triplane IV (of which only one was built) rather than a copy of the more numerous Triple III. Kemp told them the IV was by far the better aircraft.

Ronald Kemp died at age 88 in 1978

Editor's Note:
If you have any more information on this pioneer aviator,
please contact me.
E-mail to Ralph Cooper

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