André Kempster

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André Gilbert Kempster
File:André Kempster GC.jpg
Birth name André Gilberto Coccioletti
Born (1916-10-26)26 October 1916
Westminster, London
Died 21 August 1943(1943-08-21) (aged 26)
Philippeville, Algeria
Buried at Bone War Cemetery, Algeria
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  British Army
Years of service 1939-1943
Rank Major
Service number 138804
Unit 145th (8th. Battalion, The Duke of Wellington's Regiment) Regiment, Royal Armoured Corps
Battles/wars World War II
North Africa
Awards UK George Cross ribbon.svg George Cross

Major André Gilbert Kempster GC (26 October 1916 – 21 August 1943), born André Gilberto Coccioletti,[1] was awarded the George Cross posthumously " recognition of most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner" for an act of self-sacrifice in Algeria during the Second World War.[2]

21 August 1943

On 21 August 1943, near Philippeville [Skikda], Major Kempster was instructing two fellow soldiers how to throw hand grenades from a practice pit. A grenade, which had been thrown by Major Kempster, rolled back into the pit. He attempted to scoop the grenade out of the pit but failed to do so. By this time detonation was due. Without hesitation Major Kempster threw himself on the grenade just before it exploded and received fatal injuries. This act undoubtedly saved the lives of the two other occupants of the pit.[3]

George Cross citation

Kempster's George Cross citation appeared in the London Gazette on 9 November 1943:[4]

The King has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the George Cross, in recognition of most conspicuous gallantry in carrying out hazardous work in a very brave manner, to: — Captain (temporary Major) Andre Gilbert Kempster (138804), Royal Armoured Corps (Pulborough, Sussex).

— London Gazette

Sale of medal

Major Kempster's George Cross was sold by Spinks on 28 March 1995 for an expected price of £2,800 - £3,200.


External links