Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Kempton John Joseph

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102621 WS/Captain John Joseph Kempton MBE MD FRCP
31 Dec 1908 [Wales] – 12 July 1961 [Bay of Biscay]

Service Record — John Joseph Kempton

11 Dec 1940 Detached from 161st (EA) Fld Amb. Posted to No 11 Depôt and Training Establishment RAMC Becketts Park Leeds for trooping duties on an outward voyage "to a temperate climate and will remain at the destination".

Malta 2 Apr 1941 Disembarked at Malta.

Malta 2 Apr 1941 Relocated from ADS Floriana to MDS Hamrun which was completed on 20 Mar 1941.

Malta 1 Apr 1942 Posted to No 39 GH.

Malta 15 June 1942 Attached to 15th Field Ambulance RAMC. MO/ic Advanced Dressing Station (ADS) Naxxar.

Malta 22 Aug 1942 Ceased to be attached to No 15th Fld Amb. Detached for temporary duty to No 45 GH. Was placed on the General Duties Roster No 45 GH vice Captain Kesavan Damodaran, who was relieved of General Duties. On 24 Aug was posted to the Medical Division 45 GH.

Malta 14 Jan 1943 Admitted to hospital with infectious hepatitis. This was his second attack of jaundice in six months, and between attacks he had had amoebic dysentery.

Medical officer in charge of air-field casualties during the island's heavy bombardment.

Malta 15 Nov 1943 Posted from 45 GH to No 19 GH Middle East Force.

6 Jan 1944 Appointed an Additional Member of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of his gallant and distinguished services in Malta. DDMS Malta Colonel William Kenneth Morrison had recommended him for the Military Cross. He wrote: This officer, at the Advanced Dressing Station Luqa Aerodrome, performed his duties during the intense bombing under great danger and was always quite regardless of his personal safety and set an example of high morale to all.

1945 Demobilised with the rank of major.

His obituary dated 5 August 1961 read:

The death of Dr J Kempton, consultant paediatrician to the Reading Group of Hospitals, as a result of a tragic ocean-yachting disaster in the Bay of Biscay on July 12 has come as a shock to his colleagues and many friends in Britain and abroad. He was 52 years of age. Jack Kempton, the son of a schoolmaster, was born in Wales on December 31, 1908. He studied medicine at the University of Bristol, graduating MB ChB in 1932. After preliminary house appointments at the Bristol Royal Infirmary he decided to go into General Practice, and, after gaining experience as a locum tenet, settled in Wokingham, where he very quickly worked up a large practice. At the outbreak of the second world war he joined the RAMC, serving in England and the Middle East, and was eventually posted to Malta. On returning to civilian life he decided to set out on a consultant career in medicine and paediatrics, and it was to his great credit, and typical of his pertinacity, that he had no difficulty in obtaining the DCH, MD, and MRCP in 1946-47, while at the same time doing out-patient sessions at Paddington Green and Great Ormond Street Hospitals, where he was out-patient medical registrar. He was then appointed, first, a registrar, and then, in 1948, consultant in paediatrics to the Reading Group of hospitals. In addition to his Reading appointment he carried out regular visits to Taplow Hospital and attended out-patient sessions at Paddington Green and Great Ormond Street Hospitals. He was elected FRCP in 1958.


  • TNA:WO 177/700, War Diaries No 15th Field Ambulance RAMC April 1941 to April 1944.
  • TNA:WO 177/1274, War Diaries No 39 General Hospital Sept 1941 to December 1944.
  • TNA:WO 177/751, War Diaries No 161st (East Anglian) Field Ambulance RAMC September 1939 to September 1943.
  • TNA:WO 177/1287, War Diaries No 45 General Hospital May 1941 to April 1946.
  • TNA:WO 373/78/351, Recommendation for award Service no 102621 Captain John Joseph Kempton 45 British General Hospital.
  • Obituary, Br Med J (1961); 2:388 (Published 5 August 1961).