He was born in California Gully to Cornish Australian parents, Frank Kemp, a gold miner, and Rebecca Kemp, née Harvey. Both the Kemps and Harveys were devout Methodists and proud Cornish people. In 1913 the family moved to Melbourne after a mining accident. The Cornish were well known for their singing and most Cornish Australian boys at that time joined youth choirs, Kemp being no exception. In 1920 his father died after being hit by a car.
In 1971, while on a trip to Britain, Kemp visited Cornwall, the land of his ancestors. While there he purchased a book on Cornish history (Daphne du Maurier's Vanishing Cornwall). It is a remarkable fact that neither his wife nor his children knew about his Cornish ancestry.Wikipedia