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 WORLD WAR I: 1914 – 1918

 

The assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand by a Serbian Nationalist in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 was the precursor to World War One. The war lasted from 1914 to 1918, and was the second bloodiest conflict in recorded history; with over 15 million people killed. It impacted on most of the world's great powers, and involved two opposing alliances; The Triple Entente Powers, made up of the United Kingdom, France, and the Russian Empire, against the Central Powers, which was made up of the German Empire, the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Bulgaria. The Entente was also joined by other countries that were drawn into the conflict: members of the British Empire, Belgium, Serbia, Italy, Japan, Greece, Romania and theUnited States. The fighting ceased on Armistice Day, 11 November 1918 at 11am.

The war became notorious for trench warfare, especially on the Western Front, which stretched for 440 miles from the Swiss border to the North Sea. Despite attempts to break through, the lines moved very little during 1914-1918, and saw over 9 million soldiers killed on the battlefield. The map of the Western Front below is reproduced with the permission of www.greatwar.co.uk. If you want to find out more about the war, this site is well worth a visit.

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In May 1915, John McCrae wrote “In Flanders Fields” that provides us with an insight into the conflict: -

In Flanders fields the poppies blow

Between the crosses, row on row,

That mark our place; and in the sky

The larks, still bravely singing, fly

Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago

We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

Loved and were loved, and now we lie

In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:

To you from failing hands we throw

The torch; be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die

We shall not sleep, though poppies grow

In Flanders fields.

On 24 April 1915, an amphibious force of British, French, Australian, and New Zealand troops attempted to land on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli, to neutralise Turkey’s armed forces. Despite there being only a small Turkish force defending the cliffs overlooking the shore, the Gallipoli landing was a disaster. Its failure was down to inadequate intelligence, insufficient attention to the terrain, an underestimation of the enemy's strength and resilience. Nine months after landing, the allies withdrew after incurring over 250,000 casualties, including over 46,000 dead.

Among other notable events were; aerial warfare, including large-scale bombing and air reconnaissance, the widespread use of chemical warfare, the use of flamethrowers, and the introduction of mechanical warfare, namely the use of tanks on 15 September 1916 at the Somme. The German’s use of U-boats in restricted and unrestricted submarine warfare in the Atlantic to deprive the British Isles of supplies, led to the development of depth charges, and onboard sonar systems

This section has been compiled from information contained on the United Kingdom’s NationalArchives website, the “Roll of Honours” website, the National  Archives of Australia, the University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy AIF Project Database, and the Library and Archives Canada. The majority of the cap badges were taken from the British Armed Forces & National Service website.

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Unit Name

Name/Rank/Details

 

17th (COUNTY OF LONDON) BATTALION (POPLAR AND STEPNEY RIFLES)

 

·       Lieutenant Walter Richard Keep

 

 

ARMY CYCLIST CORPS

 

·        Lance Corporal Alfred Henry Keep, Regiment number: 1906

 

 

 

 

ARMY ORDNANCE CORPS

 

·        Acting Staff Sergeant Wilfred L. Keep, Regiment

number: A1276

 

 

 

ARMY SERVICE CORPS

 

·     Private Arthur Edward Keep, Regiment number: M2/269336

·     Driver Charles Keep, Regiment number: T4/044475

·    Private Charles Keep, Regiment number: A/386540

·     Driver Charles R. Keep, Regiment number: T1 2728

·    Private Ernest Keep, Regiment number: S4/109964

·     Driver F. George Keep, Regiment number: T4040107

·    Private Fred Keep, Regiment number: M2/079098 killed 8 September 1916 aged 31 buried at Kingsclere (ST. Mary) Churchyard

·    Private Frederick Arthur Keep, Regiment number: DM2 170536

·     Private George Frederick Keep, Regiment number: M/303795

·     Private Harry Keep, Regiment number: SS/16492

·     Private Acting Sergeant HerbertJohn Keep, Regiment number: SS/16479

·     Driver John Keep, Regiment number: T4/245084

·    Driver Victor Keep, Regiment number: T4/212889

·     Private William Keep, Regiment number: 23231  

 

ARMY VETERINARY CORPS

 

·     Private Frederick Keep. Regiment number: SE/23762

·     Horse Keeper Harold E. Keep, Regiment number: 13373

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE BEDFORDSHIRE REGIMENT

 

v Corporal Alfred Keep, 1st Battalion, Regiment number: 23286. He was killed in action in France and Flanders on 23 April 1917, aged 26. Son of Thomas and Sarah Keep, born 1891 at Turvey, Bedfordshire, lived with his parents at Bedford Road, Stasgden, Bedfordshire. He is commemorated at the War Memorial at St Leonard's, Stasgden, Bedfordshire, and the ARRAS MEMORIAL, Pas de Calais, France. Bay 5

·     Private Arthur C. Keep, Regiment number: 9183

·     Private Cecil Arthur Keep, Regiment number: 27048

v Captain Douglas Scrivener Howard Keep born 17 June 1893 in St. Leonards Sydney Colony, Australia, son of John Howard Keep and Mrs. Keep, of Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire. He earned a B.A. degree at Oxford. He joined the battalion at the outbreak of war and was gazetted a 2/Lt 16th September 1914. Douglas’ Military Cross citation (issue 29837 of the London Gazette, dated 24th November 1916) reads: “For conspicuous gallantry in action. He organised and led repeated bombing attacks on the enemy strong points. On one occasion, with only three men and no bombs, he remained in close proximity to the enemy for one and a half hours.” Douglas became the acting Captain of A Company on the 4th November 1916 and was later confirmed as full Captain from 28th October. Having survived the 1st July 1916 and the Scwaben Redoubt assaults as well as the Ancre operations and the Arras battles he was killed by a shell whilst his party of men buried cables on the West edge of Zillebeke Lake near Ypres on 14 July 1917 aged 24. His body was recovered and he was buried on the 16th July with full military honours, which is recorded in the war diary. He was buried in Reninghelst New Military Cemetery, Poperinge, West-Vlaanderen,Belgium. Grave III. F, and is remembered on the Langleybury War Memorial. Probate London 3 May 1918 to Agnes Rosa Keep widow. Effects 307 pounds 0s 8d.  ***See Personal Experiences Pages.

·     Private Ernest Keep, Regiment number: 18539

·    Private Frank Keep, Regiment number: 4126

·     Private Frederick John Keep, Regiment number: 21879 Killed: 1918: 

·     Private John Keep, Regiment number: 372/11

v Major Leslie Howard Keep born 5 October 1886 in Auckland NewZealand, son of John Howard Keep and Mrs. Keep, of Abbots Langley, Hertfordshire. He was a Major in the 7th Battalion Bedfordshire Regiment. At Ronssoy on 21 September 1918, he commanded the 2nd Battalion Bedfordshire Regt. with marked success Leslie won the Distinguished Service Order for his part in the 28 September 1916 assault on the Schwaben Redoubt, the same battle that his brother Douglas, above, won his Military Cross. He was also awarded the Military Cross.  He survived the war but was killed 20 January 1922 in Piz Muraigl Samedan near Pontresina Switzerland aged 35. The cause of his death was a fall into a Crevasse. He and Bert Nathan both fell into a crevasse; but only Bert survived. Probate London 20 July to Norman Howard Keep undergraduate and Basil Binyon company director. Effects 31,500 pounds 11s 7d.   ***See Personal Experiences Page

 

BERKSHIRE YEOMANRY

 

·       Private Arthur Keep, Regiment number: 2098

 

 

 

 

 

COLDSTREAM GUARDS

 

·     Private Walter J. Keep, Regiment number: 23255

 

 

 

 

 

CYCLIST CORPS

 

·     Lance Corporal WilliamCharles Keep, Regiment number: 1937

 

 

 

 

DEVONSHIRE REGIMENT

 

·     Private Charles Norman Keep,Regiment number: 20255

·     Private Wilfred Keep, Regiment number:            30973  killed 31 May 1918 aged 19 Commemorated at The Soissons Memorial      

 

          

 

DRAGOON GUARDS

 

·     Private Frank Keep, Regiment number: 7490

 

 

 

DUKE OF CORNWALL'S LIGHT INFANTRY

 

·     Private Harry Keep, Regiment number: 14577

 

 

 

 

EAST KENT REGIMENT

 

·    Private Clarence Keep, Regiment number: G/3358 born Buckinghamshire

·     Private Robert Keep, Regiment number: G/20929

·     Private S. A. Keep, Regiment number: 3658

·     Private William Keep, Regiment number: 6579

 

 

EAST SURREY REGIMENT

 

·     Private Sidney C. Keep, Regiment number: 37878

·   Second Lieutenant Douglas William Keep, killed 16 October 1918 aged 22 buried at Romeries Communal Cemetery Extension grave II. C. 17.

·     Private William Alfred Keep, Regiment number: 589   

 

                     

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