war memorial at dusk, photographed by Michelle Cooper

World War II



Surnames K and L


Kelly, E. W.  
Edward William Kelly, 7040188, was a Gunner in the Royal Artillery. He died in the early hours of  4th December 1940, aged 52,  at the Castle. An inquest heard that his death was owing to a self-inflicted revolver shot through his head

Despite normal good health, Gunner Kelly had been unwell and had spent some time in hospital after having been struck on the jaw in the blackout of 18th September. He had returned to hospital several times, but resumed duties on 29th November, despite having the appearance of being ill. He had assured Lt Col C W Raw, whose batman he was, that he was well 

Lt Col Raw stated that Gunner Kelly had a slight facial paralysis, of which he was conscious, although Lt Col Raw did not think it very noticeable. This had arisen from a kick in the jaw by a mule in Egypt. Gunner Kelly was an old soldier, previously employed by the Dover Harbour Board, and, according to Lt Col Raw, an exemplary batman, having charge of all the Lt Col's equipment, including the fatal revolver   

Gunner Graham Beach was a room-mate of Gunner Kelly, and stated that Gunner Kelly had been concerned recently over his health, having had great difficulty sleeping owing to a pain in his head and an inability to eat well, the blow to his jaw had seemingly aggravated the old injury from the mule-kick. He became increasingly upset on 3rd December, having discovered  his wife, Mrs A. L. Kelly of Tower Hamlets, unwell and in bed. He was said to have commented that "there was one way out", although he denied he was considering suicide. However, by 4.40 on 4th December, Gunner Kelly stated that he had had a "rotten night" and been unable to sleep. Gunner Beach was awakened a second time by a gunshot at 5.30 that morning 

Gunner White called for Captain Isaacs, and accompanied him to the shared room. There he found Gunner Kelly unconscious, with a wound above his left ear and a further, exit, wound.  He was taken to the main dressing station, but was so seriously wounded that an operation would have been futile. He died at 6.50

He left a note saying that "everyone had been very good" to him, and Lt Col Raw emphasised that Gunner Kelly's death was a loss to the Battery.

He was buried at St. James Cemetery, Dover on 10 December 1940. Row D, Joint Grave 7

gravestone photo by Joyce Banks

Kemsley, S. 
Frederick Charles Kemsley, 538183, died at the King Edward VII emergency hospital, Midhurst, Sussex, on 21st February 1943, "after much suffering". He was 24, and a Leading Aircraftman in the RAF.  F C Kemsley headstone, by Derek DonnellyRepresentatives from RAF HQ at Dover attended when he was buried at Buckland cemetery, Dover. Section B G, Grave 9

He was the son of Mrs C A Kemsley, and stepson of Mr H V Robbins, from 129 London Road, Dover

The words at the bottom of the headstone read:

His memory is my greatest treasure
In my heart he lives for ever. Mother

headstone photo by Derek Donelly


G Lapham's headstone, courtesy Charles Fair Lapham, G. 
George Lapham, 553470, was a Private in the 1st battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment. He died on Catania War Cemetery, courtesy Charles Fair18th July 1943, aged 29. He is buried in the Catania War Cemetery, Sicily, Italy. IV F 43

He was the husband of Alice Eliza Mary Lapham, from Dover. The words at the bottom of his headstone read:

In loving memory of my dear husband. "Peace, perfect peace"


with thanks to Charles Fair
Private Lapham's grave is the nearest right in the cemetery picture

Leeds, C. C.
Charles Compton Leeds was a First Mate in the Merchant Navy. Aboard the S.S. Menin Ridge he died on 24th October 1939 after a torpedo attack in the Atlantic. He was 34, and was the elder son of Mrs Ada Amelia Leeds and the late Frederick James Leeds, from 4 Leyburne Road, Dover. He was married to Olive May Leeds, who was in Penarth, Glamorgan

He is commemorated on the Tower Hill Memorial, London. Panel 70

Lott, E J. 
Ernest John Lott, 2008810, was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers. In civilian life he was a railway shunter at Dover. He had lived at 24 Victoria Dwellings before going to Boughton Monchelsea. He was engaged to be married to Miss Muriel Evans, from 142 Cornwallis Avenue, Aylesham, Kent and was said to be cheerful, and a well-disciplined soldier. She had been with him between 2.30 and 9.45 on the day before he died; it was their custom to meet at her home, and he later cycled to Bishopsbourne

Miss Evans had noticed that Gunner Lott had been unusually quiet and depressed, he was facing an operation. She had been able to cheer him up; nevertheless he was concerned something was very wrong with his health. Gunner J J Elsby, who had been on duty when Gunner Lott returned to his quarters, said that Gunner Lott was in battle dress and seemed quite normal

Gunner Lott's  body was found in Bishopsbourne tunnel on Sunday morning, 3rd April 1943; he had been struck by a train. He was 25. The East Kent Coroner, Mr Mowl, held an inquest at the "Lions Head", Bishopsbourne, and issued a verdict that Gunner Lott had committed suicide while the balance of his mind was disturbed

He is buried at Aylesham, Kent. Plot D, Grave 45. At the foot of his headstone are the words "In everloving memory of a dear son".

His parents were Arthur Frederick and Lily Louise Lott, from Dover.

thanks to Joyce Banks

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