About Major-General Sir George Vero Kemball, KCMG, CB, DSO, R.A.
Lieut.-Colonel, George Vero Kemball
Lieut.-Colonel, was born in Oct. 1859, son of the late Major-General John Shaw Kemball, of Fairseat, Wrotham. He was educated at Harrow, and entered the Royal Artillery, as Lieutenant, 18 Dec. 1878. He served in Afghanistan, 1878-79 (Medal); became Captain 7 Sept. 1886 ; took part in the operations in Chitral, 1895, serving on the Staff, with the Relief Force. He was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 15 Nov. 1895]; was given the Brevet of Major 22 Jan. 1896, and received the Medal with clasp. He was promoted to Major 10 Sept. 1896, and served on he North-West Frontier of India in 1897, in the Tochi Expedition, on the Staff; was mentioned in Despatches [London Gazette, 11 Feb. 18981, and received a clasp, In 1900 he served in West Africa, in Northern Nigeria, with the Kaduna Expedition (Medal and clasp). He was in command of the operations against the Forces of Bida and Kontagora; was mentioned n Despatches [London Gazette, 18 April, 1902]; received the Medal and clasp, and was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order [London Gazette, 25 April, 1902]: " George Vero Kemball, Lieut.-Colonel (Brigadier-General), Inspector General, West African Field Force. In recognition of services during the operations in West Africa (Kontagora and Bida Expeditions)." He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel 23 July, 1901. He commanded the Kano-Sokoto Expedition, 1903 (C.B. and clasp) ; was Director at the War Office, 1909-13, and commanded a brigade in India, 1914; was promoted to MajorGeneral 8 April, 1914.
Major-General Sir G. V. Kemball served in the Great War, 1915-16, in Mesopotamia, as Major-General, General Staff of the Expeditionary Force, and in command of the 28th Frontier Force Brigade. He was present at the actions and capture of Kurna, Battles of Kut and Ctesiphon, 1915, Battles of Sheik-Saad, the Wadi, Um-el-Hannah (2), Dujailah and Sannaiyat, 1916.
The following is an extract from a letter: "As regards Mesopotamia, it may be of interest to add : The 28th Frontier Force Brigade, consisting of the 2nd Leicestershire Regt. and 51st Sikhs, 53rd Sikhs and 56th Rifles (Frontier Force), lost, in the three months' fighting on the Tigris in the vain attempt to relieve Kut, well over 100 per cent. in killed and wounded. With a nominal establishment of some 3,100 of all ranks, the casualties from the enemy's fire, between 6 Jan. and 22 April, 1916, were over 3,800. The establishment of British officers was 75, and the casualties 121, of whom 39 were killed. At one time during that period less than half a dozen of the Regimental Staff and medical officers who had served in the Brigade remained untouched." He was mentioned twice in Despatches; was wounded at Sannaiyat, and created a K.C..M.G., June, 1916 ; commanded a division, India, 1917-19.
Ref: THE VC and DSO, the Standard Art Book, Co., Ltd., London, 1924, p. 258