Kilbride Parish Church War Memorial
Kilbride Parish Church War Memorial
Alexander Todd Sempey
(See footnote 1)
Date of Birth – 10th June 1882
Place of Birth – Doagh
Date of enlistment – 3rd January 1915 at Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Address at time of enlistment – Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Next of Kin – James Sempey
Address of next of kin - Bridgehouse, Doagh
Trade or Calling – Listed as a farmer on passenger list but butcher on attestation papers
Service No. 426407
Unit – 46th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Saskatchewan Regiment)
Died – 3rd September 1918
Buried – Windmill British Cemetery Plot II.D.13, France
Commemorations - Regina War Memorial, Saskatchewan, Canada, Ballyclare War Memorial and Kilbride Parish Church
Marital status – Single when he enlisted but married at time of death
Wife’s Name – Blanche Sempey née Edgeler, daughter of James Stuart Edgeler JP and Martha Edgeler
Date of Birth - March 1887
Place of Birth, Petersfield, Hampshire
Date of Marriage - September 1917 in Farnham District, Surrey
Address – ‘Coombelea’, Shottermill, Surrey
Date of Death - July quarter, 1961
Place of Death - Hove, Sussex
Parents - James Sempey and Ellen Sempey (née Craig)
Married - 21st February, 1874 in Ballymena District
Siblings - James, William, Hugh, Lizzie (Eliza), Mary, Richard,Patrick, Bella, (Alexander Todd), Agnes, Maggie and Thomas
Alexander Sempey arrived in Quebec, Canada in August 1913 aboard the ‘Scandinavian' (see footnote 2). He was travelling to Windthorst in Saskatchewan (approximately 100 miles E.S.E. of Regina) to take up a labouring job on a farm. He had previous military experience having served 6 years with the 3rd Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles before enlisting into the Canadian army in January 1915.
Canadian Expeditionary Force - Military Record Timeline for AT Sempey
3rd January 1915 - Enlisted into the Canadian army at Regina, Saskatchewan.
21st October 1915 - Embarked from Halifax, Nova Scotia aboard SS ‘Lapland’ (see footnote 3)
30th October 1915 - Disembarked in Devonport (Plymouth), Devon
1st November 1915 - Promoted to Corporal at Bramshott camp
1st March 1916 - Promoted to Lance Sergeant at Bramshott camp
10th June 1916 - Proceeded overseas with 46th Battalion Canadian Infantry
1st July 1916 - Promoted to Sergeant at Bramshott camp
10th August 1916 - Proceeded Overseas
26th August 1916 - Promoted to Company Quarter Master Sergeant (Field promotion)
30th January 1917 - Transferred to 19th Reserve Battalion
8th September 1917 - Granted permission to marry. Married in Shottermill, Surrey.
14th October 1917 - Transferred to 15th Reserve Battalion
29th November 1917 - Transferred to 46th Battalion
3rd September 1918 - Killed in Action
The circumstances of Company Quarter Master Sergeant Sempey’s death are described in a register available on the Library and Archives Canada website
The record reads as follows;
Rank or Rating: Company Quarter Master Sergeant
Christian Names: Alexander Todd
Unit: 46th Battalion
Date of Casualty: 3-9-18
HQ Record No. 649-S-17975
Religion: Church of England
Circumstances of Casualty: Killed in Action - instantly killed during enemy shelling of the Battalion transport lines.
Name, Relationship and Address of Next of Kin: Blank
Location of Unit at Time of Casualty: Attack from E. of Dury to N.W. of Ecourt St. Quentin.
Cemetery: Windmill British Cemetery
Location of Cemetery: Monchy-Le-Preux. 4 3/4 miles S.E. of Arras, France
Grave Location: Grave 13, Plot 2, Row “D”
Registered Number of Grave: Blank
The spelling of the surname varies across archive documents and includes Sempey, Sempy and Sempie. For standardisation the former has been used throughout.
SS ‘Scandinavian’ was built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast and was launched for the Dominion Line on 9th July, 1898 (her original name was ‘New England’ and she was renamed ‘Romanic’ when she was bought by the White Star Line and then ‘Scandinavian’ when she was bought by the Allan Line in Glasgow). On 15th April, 1912 she was sailing eastward from Boston to Glasgow and was able to relay radio messages from Cape Race, on the south-eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland, to RMS ‘Olympic’ which was helping to co-ordinate the rescue of survivors from RMS ‘Titanic’ following its sinking. Her main route from 1912 until 1917 was on the Glasgow to Canada service for the Allan Line.
SS ‘Lapland’ was built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast and was launched for the Red Star Line on 27th June, 1908. In April 1912 she returned the 167 surviving crew members from the RMS Titanic disaster to Plymouth in England only 13 days after the sinking. In October 1914 she was part of a large convoy that transported the first troops from Canada to fight in World War 1.