The only biography of Rudyard Kipling's son John.
My Boy Jack?
Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Books And Maps

Guide books and maps of the Battlefields of the First & Second World Wars

The Search for Kipling's Only Son

8 pages of illustrations.
236 pages. Price £12.99

  • Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Rudyard's childhood
  • Chapter 2: Rudyard's Young Manhood
  • Chapter 3: John's Birth and Early Childhood
  • Chapter 4: Growing Up
  • Chapter 5: The Great War Starts
  • Chapter 6: The Battle of Loos
  • Chapter 7: My Boy Jack
  • Chapter 8: I will Make Thee a Name
  • Chapter 9: The Great War Ends
  • Chapter 10: The Twilight Years
  • Epilogue: Is it Really Jack?
  • Postscript to this Edition
  • What the Experts say about the Identification
  • Select Bibliography
  • Index


In 1992, seventy-seven years after John Kipling was reported Missing at the battle of Loos, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission named a previously unknown soldier buried in St Mary's ADS Cemetery in France as John Kipling.

Kipling himself was devastated at the loss of his only 'man-child' and determined to find his final resting place. Despite his influential position and a lifelong search, he never succeeded in his quest.

Intensive research led the authors to the conclusion (reinforced by the opinions of four qualified professionals reproduced at the end of this book) that the Commission's 1992 decision was unsound.

.Back Cover

Portrait of John Kipling in Irish Guards Uniform and behind the new Headstone in St Mary's ADS CWGC Cemetery, Loos

If it isn't John then who is it?

In an Appendix to the latest edition of the book the authors identify a missing Lieutenant of the London Irish who is a much better 'fit' to the evidence presented to the CWGC.

This book was described by the Honorary Secretary of the Kipling Society thus - 'as compellingly readable as one could wish and is as memorable as the best of other Kipling biographies.'

A biography, a detective story and an invitation to the reader to say who  they think is buried in the 'Kipling grave' - 'My son Jack?'

My Boy Jack on Television - Daniel Radcliffe plays John Kipling

Daniel Radcliffe, best  known as Harry Potter, and Kim Cattrall from Sex and the City, both starred in 'My Boy Jack', a two hour tv drama (ITV 11 November 2007) written by David Haig who played Rudyard Kipling.

In conjunction with the play the Imperial War Museum mounted an Exhibition 'My Boy Jack' which not only told the story of John Kipling's short life but also that of the disputed identification of his body. Tonie and Valmai Holt were the Consultants for the Exhibition.

Also in conjunction with the Exhibition the Holts published the Third Edition of their biography 'My Boy Jack?' and in an Appendix to this edition they presented clear evidence that calls into doubt the original identification of the unknown body and even suggests a possible alternative officer casualty. If you read the book please let us know what you think.

Major and Mrs Holt's Battlefield Guide Books And Maps