Martin Crawford Kemsley
Martin Crawford Kemsley was born at two minutes before eight on the evening of Thursday the 30 July 1959 in Gwelo, Southern Rhodesia. He weighed 8lbs 8 oz.
Martin attended many schools as the family as transferred to various posts in the Air Force. He matriculated in 1976, finishing his schooling at Pretoria Boys High, having changed schools no less than ten times. When his father Keith apologized for yet another disruption in his schooling, his thirteen year old philosophical reply was that although that may have been the case he had met many nice people and had made some wonderful friends.
During his school years, Martin appeared to have above average sporting abilities. (He broke the under ten long jump record by two and a half feet and in his first swimming gala, under eight; he finished a good half length ahead of the next competitor!)
Martin played rugby in the A team of each age group from under 13 years to under 15 years. During his two years at Pretoria Boys High he worked his way up from the 6th team to the 1st team and received his First Fifteen blazer in standard 9 and his Colours for rugby in standard 10. He was honoured by being invited to play for the Masters and Rugby Coaches against the rest of the school, an honour that up till then had been accorded only to the Captain of the First Fifteen.
During his final year at school Martin applied to the Rhodesian Air Force for Pilot training. He successfully passed the aptitude tests but missed the final selection being given a "deferred acceptance" and told to re-apply for the next Pilot Course
On Martin's return to Rhodesia he attested into the army for his two year National Service. During his basic training he won the Shield for the best rifle shot of his intake. On completion of his basic training he applied for apprentice training in the Rhodesian Air Force while waiting for the next pilot intake and was accepted. Martin was the first student to receive a 100% for Mechanical aptitude in the entry examinations.
In 1978 the Rhodesian Air Force gave the SA Air Force Museum a Vampire TII Trainer and Air Commodore Keith Kemsley was given the honour of flying this "one of the last" Vampires to Pretoria as he flown one of the first Vampire TII aircraft from England to Rhodesia. Prior to departure a special flight was arranged to record this historic event and it was decided that in recognition of the contribution of the ground staff the top student from the Air Force Ground Training School should be part of the flight. It was with some pride that the Vampire took off with two generations of Kemsley's on board - Air Commodore Keith Kemsley and Aircraftsman Martin Kemsley (the top student at the School)
Martin served on several Squadrons in the Air Force and in the Engine Repair Shop where he was introduced to the Technical Director of Rolls Royce Aero Engines during an inspection of the facility. The Director was highly sceptical oŁ the fact that the Rhodesian Air Force were overhauling Rolls Royce "Avon" engines and was absolutely astonished when he was told by Martin that he and his corporal had rebuilt the engine on view in six months and would be testing it the following week. Further more he expected it to be flying in a Hunter in two weeks. (All this from a Junior Technician, the cup of his father, who was present, “runneth” over!).
Martin retired from the Air Force at the end of 1980 having been awarded the Rhodesian General Service Medal and the Zimbabwe General Service Medal with the rank of Senior Aircraftsman.
In 1981 he immigrated to South Africa and took up an appointment with Chel (Pty) Ltd, a company involved in work at the Pelindaba Nuclear Research Station. He later joined Cold Air Installations (Pty) Ltd and was for a period of time employed at the Koeburg Nuclear Power Station in the Cape Province.
He married Denise Brooks on 4th December’ 1982 in Pretoria and set up home in Kempton Park before moving to Natal in 1984. Their son Bruce Michael Kemsley was born on 3 May 1988. Bruce died on the 28th of July 1990
In1989 Martin was employed as a Contracts Engineer, specializing in Industrial Air Conditioning in the Durban area. During this time he trained for and achieved his Private Pilots License.
Martin is a Scuba Diving Master
In 1995 Martin decided to change careers and left the Air Conditioning business. For a period of time he worked as a representative for various commodities. before joining Allyson Lawless (Pty) Natal, a computer company in civil engineering. In August 1996 he was appointed Branch Manager of the Natal division.
Continuing in the computer business Martin left Allyson Lawless and joined the Company, Network Support, where he studied for and achieved the qualifications of Microsoft Certified Professional+Internet (MCP+I) and Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE).
Martin and Denise have two daughters, Meghan Kathryn Kemsley and Natalie Amy Kemsley