Roy Oscar Claude KEENE

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KEENE, Roy Oscar Claude

Service Number: 132
Enlisted: 22 August 1914
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 2nd Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Murrurundi,New South Wales, Australia, 2 July 1894
Home Town: Gundy, Upper Hunter Shire, New South Wales
Schooling: Maitland Boys' High School, Maitland, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Clerk - NSW Lands Department
Died: Killed In Action, Belgium, 16 November 1917, aged 23 years
Cemetery: The Huts Cemetery, ​Dickebusch, Belgium
XIV. D. 6.
Memorials: Gundy District Great War Honour Roll, Gundy Public School Honour Roll, Maitland High School Roll of Honour, Moree ANZAC Centenary Memorial, Moree ANZAC Centenary Memorial, Scone Barwick House War Memorial Arch, Scone Barwick House War Memorial Arch
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World War 1 Service

22 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 132, 1st Light Horse Regiment
20 Oct 1914: Embarked Corporal, SN 132, 1st Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Star of Victoria, Sydney
20 Oct 1914: Involvement Corporal, SN 132, 1st Light Horse Regiment
7 Aug 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 132, 1st Light Horse Regiment, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli, Bomb splinters to left eye and left arm
24 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, AIF Headquarters (Egypt)
5 Jul 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, AIF Headquarters (Egypt), HT Karoola, Suez for recuperation from enteric fever and fermoral thrombosis to Australia - disembarking Sydney 14 May 1916
1 Jan 1917: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant
10 Feb 1917: Embarked 1st Field Artillery Brigade, RMS Osterley, Sydney
10 Feb 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, AIF Headquarters, RMS Osterley, Sydney for England - disembarking Plymouth 11 April 1917
10 Feb 1917: Involvement 1st Field Artillery Brigade
4 Sep 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 1st Divisional Ammunition Column
30 Oct 1917: Transferred AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade
16 Nov 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 2nd Field Artillery Brigade

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Biography contributed by Michael Silver

Lieutenant Roy Oscar Claude Keene, 2nd Australian Field Artillery, was born at Gundy and enlisted on 25 August 1914, and went into camp at Rosebery Park with the 1st Light Horse.  He sailed with the 1st Contingent on 25 October 1914, and finally arrived in Egypt, having been promoted to Corporal. He went to Gallipoli where he remained until 7 August 1915, when he received several wounds from splinters of shell while taking part in the battle of Lone Pine. He was sent to hospital at Malta, then to England, and returned to Egypt again about April 1916. He was then transferred to the Artillery, and after having obtained his commission he contracted enteric fever and was invalided to Australia. Six months later he went to England with Artillery reinforcements, entrusted with the responsible post of commanding officer on the transport in which he sailed and finally going over to France in August 1917.

After just two months in France he moved to Belgium, joining the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade. He was killed at “Anzac Ridge’ in the Ypres sector, on 16 November 1917. 

It was therefore with feelings of profound regret that the Scone community reconciled to the fact that the name of yet another of its district's sons had been added to the Empire's Roll of Honour - Lieutenant Roy Keene, son of Mr. T. G. Keene, of ''Weetah”, Scone, one of the districts best known and universally respected citizens, and aye, patriots, who was apprised of the sad news on the night of Tuesday 27 November. The deceased officer, who was only budding into manhood when the first troops left these shores, was only in his 23rd year. Educated at the Maitland High School, he was one of the most talented students to occupy its forms.

An ambitious lad, his entry into the Lands Department was confronted by no obstacles, and in accepting an appointment into the Moree office, his advancement in the service was so rapid that doubtless a brilliant career was ahead of him. But fired with patriotism, the higher calls to duty that came with the outbreak of war found a ready respondent in Roy Keene, and putting aside his lucrative post, he offered the best that was in him for his country.

With his passing away is lost to his family an exemplary son, and to his country one of its brightest and most promising citizens and Civil Servants. Another brother, 1712 Lance Corporal William Keene, is on active service.

References:

Australia's Fighting Sons of the Empire: Portraits and Biographies of Australians in the Great War, P. 256

The Scone Advocate, 30 November 1917: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article156910840.

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