James MCKEOWN

MCKEOWN, James

Service Number: 4862
Enlisted: 9 October 1915, Gilgandra, NSW
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 13th Infantry Battalion
Born: Sydney, NSW, 14 November 1877
Home Town: Gilgandra, Gilgandra, New South Wales
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Labourer / Dealer and Skin Buyer
Died: Suddenly, At home, Rockhampton, Qld., 13 November 1945, aged 67 years
Cemetery: North Rockhampton Cemetery, Qld
Roman Catholic Sec 8 Row 4 Grave No 64
Memorials: Gilgandra Coo-ee March Gallery, Gilgandra District Roll of Honor, Gilgandra NSW 100th Anniversary of The Cooee March, Queensland Garden of Remembrance (Pinnaroo), Qld
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World War 1 Service

9 Oct 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 4862, 13th Infantry Battalion, Gilgandra, NSW
8 Mar 1916: Involvement Private, 4862, 13th Infantry Battalion
8 Mar 1916: Embarked Private, 4862, 13th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Star of England, Sydney

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Husband of Mrs Ruby McKeown, Lower Miller Street, Gilgandra, New South Wales

James joined the Coo-ee March in Gilgandra on October 9, 1915 and marched to Sydney where he trained at Liverpool before embarking to Egypt on  the HMAT Star of England. After training in Egypt, James was transferred to the 45th Battalion and arrived in France in June 1916 to face his first  experience of battle at Pozieres in the Somme. In December 1916 he was admitted with bronchitis to hospital in France, then England, and convalesced  at Weymouth in England. James returned to Australia on the Thermistocles and was discharged July 31, 1917 medically unfit with cardiac insufficiency and recurring catarrh.
James and his wife Ruby King grew up in the Gilgandra district. He joined the Australian forces in South Africa to fight in the Boer War and was  discharged in January 1901. He was married with five children when he enlisted with the Cooees and was granted a pension when discharged in 1917.  James won a block in Barcaldine, Queensland. He died in Rockhampton in 1945 aged 68.

Mr. James McKeown died suddenly at this residence in Rockhampton on 13th November at the age of 67.  Born in Mudgee (NSW) he spent his early life in the grazing industry in the Gilgandra district.  He fought in the Boer War 1901 and in World War I.  He selected a resumption of Tara, in the Barcaldine distirct, in 1926, which he named Eden Downs.  After living there for some years he sold out and purchased Noongoo and Crescendo in teh Capella district, where he took an active part in public affairs, being a counciller of Capella and always interested in the welfare of the Diggers.  He, was also keely interested in racing.  After some years in the Capella district he retired to Gracemere, Boongarrie and later to Rockhampton, where he resided until his death.  The late Mr. McKeown is survived by his wife , three daughters, Mesdames F.A.W. Taylor, Accord, Brixton, J.B. Henderson, Willowhburn, Toowoomba and T.F. Currin, Gracemere, and one sond L/Ac. D.J. McKeown, R.A.A.F. Charters Towers.

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