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John Kipling's Geni Profile

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John Kipling

Birthdate: (18)
Birthplace: Rottingdean, Sussex, England UK
Death: September 27, 1915 (18)
Loos-en-Gohelle, Pas-de-Calais, Hauts-de-France, France (WW1 killed in battle)
Place of Burial: Haisnes, Pas-de-Calais, Hauts-de-France, France
Immediate Family:

Son of Rudyard Kipling and Caroline Starr Kipling
Brother of Elsie Bambridge and Josephine Kipling

Managed by: Terry Jackson (Switzer)
Last Updated:

About John Kipling

John Kipling was the only son of the famous British writer Rudyard Kipling and his wife Caroline “Carrie” Starr Balestier. John was born at the family’s residence in Rottingdean before they relocated to Batemans House, East Sussex, in 1902. John is often thought to bwe the inspiration for Kipling’s famous work ‘If-‘.

Known to his family as Jack, he was plagued with severe nearsightedness, and was deemed medically unfit for military service during the First World War. He managed to secure a commission in the Irish Guards, however, with the weight of his father's influence behind him. On his eighteenth birthday, Kipling was posted to France. Within six weeks, the Battle of Loos, part of a joint Allied offensive on the Western Front, was entered, engaging 54 French and 13 British divisions. The death toll at Loos was greater than in any previous battle of the war. Eye-witnesses reported seeing Kipling fall with a neck wound, but intense machine gun and shellfire made retrieval impossible. At the battle's end he was reported wounded and missing. His grief-stricken parents used every possible channel and every high-level contact at their disposal to obtain news about their son in the hope that he might still be alive, even if as a prisoner of war. It was not until 1919 that his death was finally accepted by his parents. In 1992, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission announced that the grave of an unknown Irish Guards Lieutenant in the St Mary's ADS Cemetery was that of John Kipling although the decision has been disputed. The Imperial War Museum in London mounted an exhibition to tell the story of John Kipling in 2007. Jack's story was told in the book "My Boy Jack?: The Search for Kipling's Only Son" by Tonie and Valmai Holt, which was turned into a play by David Haig and filmed for British television in 2007 with Daniel Radcliffe as John, David Haig as Rudyard Kipling, and Kim Cattrall as Caroline Kipling.


  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Date of Death: 27/09/1915
  • Age: 18
  • Regiment/Service: Irish Guards 2nd Bn.
  • Grave Reference: VII. D. 2.
  • Additional Information: Only son of Rudyard and Carrie Kipling, of Batemans, Burwash, Sussex.
  • CWGC


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John Kipling's Timeline

August 17, 1897
Rottingdean, Sussex, England UK
September 27, 1915
Age 18
Loos-en-Gohelle, Pas-de-Calais, Hauts-de-France, France
Haisnes, Pas-de-Calais, Hauts-de-France, France