Voyage of SV Sea Star
Sea Star Voyage   |     home
Homeward leg   |   Panama to Mexico   |   Grenada to ABC's   |   Atlantic crossing   |   Spanish Family   |   Portugal   |   Bay of Biscay   |   Ireland and London   |   Isle of Man   |   Castles and Lake District   |    Arrival in Scotland   |   Norway   |   Germany and Denmark   |   Belgium and Holland   |   Heading north   |   Final Days in Paris   |   Vimy Memorial   |   Winter in the City of Light   |   Christmas in Paris   |   St. Jean to Paris by canal   |   Visit Home   |   Up the French Canals   |   More Italian adventures   |   Italy   |   Greece   |   Turkey   |   Cyprus   |   Battle up the Red Sea   |   Oman   |   Looking for family roots   |   Passage to India   |   Surviving the Tsunami   |   Thailand   |   Malaysia   |   Leaving Indonesia for Singapore   |   Arriving in Indonesia   |   Leaving Australia   |   Sailing with friends   |   Yamba   |   Cruising the Oz Coast   |   Christmas Down Under   |   Maps   |   Kids page   |   New Caledonia to Australia   |   Vanuatu   |   Fiji   |   Wallis Island   |   Samoa   |   Canton Island   |   Hawaii   |   Leaving Canada   |   About Us   |   The boat   |   Contact Us
Vimy Memorial
Visit to Vimy Ridge       March 1, 2006

Exactly a year ago we left the coastal city of Goa and travelled inland to Belgaum, birthplace of my great-grandfather Arnold Henry Grant Kemball. Born into a military family, educated at Wellington College, Kemball graduated from Sandhurst in 1880. His legacy includes letters and photos of life on the Northwest Frontier, British Columbia and his final years in the Great War. As we have been sailing around the world I've been working on a book on his life.

 Kemball served with the 1st Battalion Royal Scot Regiment from 1880-82 in Malta,    

  2nd D.C.O. Belooch Reg't 1885

1888 with 5th Gurkhas                 hunting,Kashmir 1894

   while on a ski trip in Norway, Kemball met and married Vivi Sundt, 1895

Crossing the Lowari Pass, Northwest Frontier

destroying a fort on Northwest Frontier

After serving 30 years in the Indian Army, my greatgrandfather retired in 1910 as CO of the 5th Gurkas.

 Gurkha signalers saying goodbye  to Col.Kemball 1910

 After one false start on Kootenay Lake, the family hacked a fruit farm out of the bush in Kaslo, BC.

Arnold, his daughters Dorothy and Gerda, his wife and her sister, 1912

By the summer of 1914 fruit was being harvested, but when war was announced in August, Kemball signed up. He lead the 54th Kootenay Battalion(click for link to excellent website on the 54th Kootenay) overseas in 1915 and they reached France by August 1916. The battalion saw action in the Somme and then moved to near Vimy. A large gas raid was planned and postponed several times due to unfavourable winds.Since the element of surprise was lost, Kemball tried to get the raid cancelled. He left battalion headquarters at 0440 and fearing stiff opposition, the 56-year-old led his men over the top at 0540 on March 1st, 1917. During an armistice, the Germans returned his body for burial.

 one of last photos of Lt-Col. Arnold Kemball, CB DSO

preserved trenches at Vimy

the original sandbags have been replaced by cement

 German machine gun emplacement

craters resulting from mining operations

Villiers Station Cemetery 1917

Villers Station Cemetery 2006

 St. Eloi Abbey destroyed by WW1 shellfire  

Vimy Memorial undergoing renovations

Vimy Memorial March 1, 2006