Captain Arthur St.John Mackintosh KEKEWICH
8TH Battalion Devonshire Regiment
Date of birth: 24 June 1887
Date of death: 25 September 1915
Killed in action aged 28
No known grave
Arthur St.John Mackintosh was the eldest son of Charles Grenville Kekewich, solicitor, and his wife Mary Marion, daughter of Aeneas Mackintosh JP DL of Inverness. His grandfather was the late Right Hon Sir Arthur Kekewich PC MA, Judge of High Court of Justice. The family lived in Elstree, and later at The Hill House, Hatfield, Hertfordshire.
Educated at Eton, Arthur went up to Christ Church Oxford where he graduated BA in 1909 and MA in 1911. He was a keen sportsman, and while at Oxford steered the Christ Church Eight in 1906, 1907 and 1908, being Head of the River at Oxford for the last two years, and steered them at the Henley Regatta when they won the Grand Challenge Cup in 1908. He was also well known in the hunting field, and was the winner of several point-to-point races.
He was attached to the Seaforth Highlanders as a University candidate for the Army, being gazetted 2nd Lieutenant Devonshire Regiment 2 September 1909; promoted Lieutenant 16 August 1911 and on the formation of 8th Battalion, after the outbreak of war, was appointed Adjutant 20 August 1914, and Captain the November following.
He married at St David’s, Exeter on 2 August 1914, Kathleen Cecil daughter of General James Wilfrid Stirling of Rochbeare, Devon CMG.
Captain Kekewich was killed in action at the Battle of Loos 25 September 1915.
He was mentioned in Despatches (London Gazette 1 January 1916) by Field Marshall Sir John (later Lord) French for gallant and distinguished service in the field.
He is commemorated on LOOS Memorial, Pas de Calais, France, Panel 35-37 and on the Aldenham War Memorial situated on the village green in Letchmore Heath.
Probate was granted to his widow, living at 10 Vicarage Gate, Kensington on 18 November 1915. His Estate amounted to £3758 16s 3d.
" Two of the guns taken by the Devons at Loos were presented by the War Office to the County of Devon, and were formally handed over on November 12th to the Mayor and Corporation of Exeter for safe custody. At the parade there were present about half a dozen officers and 40 men of the two Service battalions with detachments from the 3rd battalion, the Yeomanry and the Territorial batteries. It was about the first ceremony of the kind and provided an impressive and memorable scene, which did much to bring home to the City and County the fine work of the junior battalions of the old Regiment."
From a contemporary account of the Presentation in 1915
The 8th Battalion had 19 officers and 620 men on their casualty list after the three days of this action. Their CO, Colonel Alexander George William had distinguished himself while serving in the West African Regiment before taking command of the 8th Battalion. He was killed on 25 September at the age of 47.
Major Henry Charles Carden was 60 years old when he met his death on the same day, he already held the DSO and had come out of retirement to fight with the 8th as their senior Major. Captain Arthur St. John Mackintosh Kekewich, the Battalion's Adjutant, was 28 and was also killed on September 25th.
With thanks to the Devon Heritage site.
(Photograph with thanks to the Lords Members’ War Memorial)