George Kemp, 1st Baron Rochdale
Education and business
Kemp was born in Rochdale, Lancashire and educated at Shrewsbury. Matriculating at Balliol College, Oxford in 1883, aged 16, Kemp transferred to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1884, where he graduated B.A. in the Classical Tripos in 1888. In business Kemp went into the woollen industry eventually becoming Chairman of Kelsall & Kemp, flannel manufacturers.
From 1885 to 1892, Kemp played first-class cricket with Lancashire. A batsman, he scored three centuries in his career and also represented Cambridge University.
In 1895, he was elected Member of Parliament (MP) for Heywood as Liberal Unionist. He served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to William Ellison-Macartney, Parliamentary Secretary to the Admiralty, until January 1900, when he resigned to serve in the Second Boer War. In 1904, along with Winston Churchill, Kemp was among a group of Conservative and Liberal Unionist Free Traders who crossed the floor to join the Liberals in response to Joseph Chamberlain's Tariff reform policies. In 1909, he was knighted for his war services and at the January 1910 general election he was elected MP for Manchester North West, this time as a Liberal. Kemp found himself increasingly out of step with the acions of the Liberal government. He was opposed to the Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer Lloyd George's financial policies. He also opposed Lloyd George's advocacy of Welsh disestablishment. His long standing opposition to Irish Home Rule had not diminished and he opposed the Liberal Government's Irish Home Rule bill. As he still felt out of step with the Unionist's advocacy of Tariff Reform, he decided to retire from the House of Commons. He declared that he "loathed politics". A year later he was raised to the peerage as Baron Rochdale, of Rochdale in the County Palatine of Lancaster.
In early February 1900, Kemp was appointed a Captain of the Imperial Yeomanry, in command of the Yeomanry detachment of the Duke of Lancaster's Own Yeomanry to serve in 8th Battalion during the Second Boer War. For his service he was mentioned in despatches. He left again for South Africa in May 1902, as Lieutenant-Colonel in command of the 32nd Battalion of the Imperial Yeomanry, including a machine-gun section which he had helped raise. The battalion arrived shortly after the war ended by the Treaty of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902, and Kemp soon returned home. Called to war again a few years later, Lord Rochdale was Lieutenant Colonel in command the 1st/6th Battalions of the Lancashire Fusiliers and was temporarily Brigadier of 127th (Manchester) Brigade of the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division during the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915.
On 5 August 1896, he had married Lady Beatrice Mary Egerton, third daughter of Francis Egerton, 3rd Earl of Ellesmere. They had three children. Lord Rochdale died in 1945 and was succeeded by his eldest son, John.
- "Kemp, George (KM884G)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
- "Court Circular" The Times (London). Thursday, 25 January 1900. (36048), p. 9.
- A Liberal Chronicle 1908-1910 by Jack Pease
- The London Gazette: . 2 February 1900.
- "The War - The reinforcements" The Times (London). Friday, 9 May 1902. (36763), p. 10.
- Maj A.F. Becke,History of the Great War: Order of Battle of Divisions, Part 2a: the Territorial Force Mounted Divisions and the 1st-Line Territoral Force Divisions (42–56), London: HM Stationery Office, 1935/Uckfield: Naval & Military Press, 2007, ISBN 1-84734-739-8
- Who was Who, OUP 2007
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|Member of Parliament for Heywood
Edward Hopkinson Holden
|Member of Parliament for Manchester North West
Sir John Randles
The Lord Revelstoke
|Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex
The Lord Latham
|Peerage of the United Kingdom|
|New creation||Baron Rochdale
John Durival Kemp