William KEID


KEID, William

Service Number: 170
Enlisted: 21 August 1914, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 2nd Light Horse Regiment
Born: Brisbane, Queensland, 9 June 1885
Home Town: Graceville, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Juction Park State School
Occupation: Carpenter
Died: Died of wounds, Gallipoli, Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey, 23 June 1915, aged 30 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
At sea (3 miles from Gaba Tepe), Lone Pine Memorial, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Corinda Sherwood Shire Roll of Honor, Graceville War Memorial, Lone Pine Memorial to the Missing
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World War 1 Service

21 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 170, Brisbane, Queensland
24 Sep 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 170, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
24 Sep 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 170, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Star of England, Brisbane
9 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 170, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
23 Jun 1915: Wounded Trooper, SN 170, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli, GSW (pelvis)

Help us honour William Keid's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by John Edwards

William was mentioned for his valour on 13 May 1915 at Gallipoli, when he "threw overcoat on bomb and sat on it while comrades took cover" - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)

"...170 Trooper William Keid, 2nd Light Horse Regiment (2ALH), of Graceville Qld. Tpr Keid, a carpenter in civilian life, was killed in action on 23 June 1915 at Quinns Post, Gallipoli Peninsula. He was one of six brothers who enlisted, four of whom were killed in action and one wounded." - SOURCE (www.awm.gov.au)



Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

The Brothers Keid

Charles and Mary Keid were the parents of nine children, six of them boys. By 1914 the family had moved to “Chewton”, Molonga Terrace, Graceville. All six of the Keid boys enlisted in the First World War; and four of them would lose their lives. Three of the deceased brothers are commemorated on the Sherwood Shire memorial. The story of the Keid family’s sacrifice has been recorded in a number of media reports recently as well as in a book by Cedric Hampson; “The Brothers Keid.” Since the stories of all six boys are so interwoven, I have grouped their narratives together, and in the interests of completion, I will include Leonard Keid. Leonard, the only brother to be married with a family, is not listed on the Sherwood Memorial but is instead commemorated on the Coorparoo Shire Memorial at Langlands Park.

All six brothers are listed on the Sherwood Methodist Church Roll of Honour.

KEID, William                                                            #170 2nd Light Horse Regiment

William Keid was the first of the six brothers to enlist, and would be the first of the four to be killed. William had been born in Brisbane and attended Junction Park State School. Upon joining he named his mother; Mary Keid of “Chewton” Molonga Terrace, Graceville as his next of kin. At the time, William was 28 years old and employed as a carpenter.

William was drafted into the 2nd Light Horse on 21st August 1915. The 2nd LHR was the first of the Light Horse Regiments to be raised in Queensland. Less than one month after enlisting, William and the rest of the unit embarked on the “Star of England” bound for Egypt. Whilst the Australians were at sea, England declared war on Turkey.

When the Light horse arrived in Egypt, they were engaged in patrolling the approaches to the Suez Canal. After the landings at Gallipoli, the authorities decided to land the light horsemen as reinforcement infantry. The 2nd Light Horse landed at Gallipoli on 11th May and was immediately rushed to relieve the 15th Battalion at Quinn’s Post. Almost immediately, the light horsemen were called upon to repel a Turkish onslaught of bomb throwing and infantry attacks.

For his action at Quinn’s Post on 13/14th May, William along with eight other men from his unit was recommended for the French Medaille Militaire by the regimental commander. In William’s case it was reported that he threw a greatcoat over an unexploded bomb and sat on it allowing his comrades to continue the offensive. It seems unusual for Australian soldiers to be recommended for a French gallantry award and there is no record of the recommendation being approved. There was a further recommendation that William be Mentioned in Despatches for valuable services rendered between 6th May and 28th June. These must be arbitrary dates as William did not arrive on Gallipoli until 11th May and he had already been evacuated by hospital ship and buried at sea by 28th June. William’s file indicates that the Mentioned in Despatches was promulgated (after his death) but he was not entitled to the bronze oak leaf which would be attached to a medal ribbon signifying MID.

After holding the line at Quinn’s Post, the 2nd LHR moved into bivouacs in Monash Valley before going back into the line at Pope’s Post. William’s file indicates that he received a gunshot wound to the pelvis on 23rd June 1915. He was evacuated to the Hospital Ship Gascon where he subsequently died of his wounds; and was buried at sea, three miles of Gaba Tepe (the ANZAC beach head) with Chaplain Warner reading the service.

There was some confusion as to the circumstances of William’s death as they were related to the family in Graceville. The family were originally informed that William had died of his wounds in Malta and was buried there, yet other sources obviously did not support this statement. It is likely that William’s father, hoping to get to the bottom of the matter, wrote to his eldest son; Lieutenant Leonard Keid (see above) when he was evacuated from Gallipoli in December of 1915. Leonard wrote to Army Records in Cairo (he probably hand delivered the letter) on 28th December requesting clarification as to William’s fate. He received a reply dated the following day (probably the swiftest piece of military communication in history) that stated the information regarding the burial in Malta was incorrect. The mistake was based on a clerical error. William had indeed been buried at sea. Eventually the family were informed of the correct version.

Obviously William has no known grave. He is commemorated on the Australian memorial at Lone Pine, Gallipoli.

Courtesy of Ian Lang

Mango Hill