Arthur William Keeble MM

Arthur William Keeble was born in Jarrow in 1893, the son of a Grocery Manager. Arthur Keeble became a Butcher's assistant before WW1. He enlists and serves in France with Suffolk Regt for 15 days before being invalided back to UK with a Gun Shot Wound to his hand. Returns to France with 100 coy MGC in April 1916 and wins MM. He returns to UK in 1918 when selected for officer training and although he completes the course and is commissioned, he is discharged immediately. Army records show that although commissioned he "did not perform the duties of, or receive the pay of, an Officer".

Dec 1920 he joins the ADRIC but in June 1920 is slightly wounded at Clonfin Ambush. He returns to NE England, marries, but not to the girl in the postcard below. They have 4 children. By 1937, when he enlists as a Territorial, as a Sapper, he appears to be unemployed and hard up. He does not make mention of his MM when serving in WW2, although the army are aware that he had it from his records.. He was then at Dunkirk, and after that the records dry up. He dies in 1961 in Suffolk.

1893 Mar 31. Born 14 York St, Jarrow. Co. Durham

1901 census living at 11 Hawthorne Terrace with his parents, his father a Grocery Manager, had been born in Suffolk.

1911 census living with parents at 38 Middle St, Consett, Durham

1914 Sep 1. Attests in Consett for Hussars (form shows later 19022 in Suffolk Regt) His service record is available. His next of kin is his father "Edmund Arthur Keeble of 39 Middle St, Consett". He is posted to Scarborough. He is a shop assistant

1915 Feb 27. Absent for 3 days (no reason given)

1915 Apr 30. Posted to Colchester

1915 Jun 2. Transfers to 2nd Battalion Suffolk Regt

1915 Jun 20. Overstays leave pass by "40 minutes" and is admonished.

1915 Jul 6. Entered France as a Private numbered 19022 in the Suffolk Regiment. His 14/15 Star was issued by the MGC and the roll shows that he transferred to the MGC from 2/Suffolk.

1915 Jul 20. He had received a "gunshot wound to the fingers"

1915 Jul 21, returns to UK after 15 days in France.

1915 Sep 3. Posted to 3rd Battalion Suffolk Regt

1916 Feb 26. Posted to MGC at Grantham

1916 Apr 24. Returns to France with MGC

1916 Apr 25. Arrives at 100 Coy MGC

1916 Jul 6. Promoted Corporal

1916 Oct 25. Promoted Sergeant

1917 Feb 26. a Field service Post Card sent to Miss Mary Oliver, 7 Sisman Street, Blackhill, County Durham. The sender was Arthur Keeble, Sergt and it was sent on 26 Feb 1917. The following day it was franked with handstamp FPO112 at this time that handstamp was in use at HQ 100 Brigade part of 33rd Division.

1917 Jun 13 Granted 10 days leave back to UK

1917 Jul 5. Reprimanded for smoking on parade.

1917 Jul 9. Gazetted MM. " The whole of the transport (100 MG Coy) drove down the Sensee Valley into No-Man's-Land, protected only by a small patrol of the Worcestershire Regiment, and deposited 12 guns and many thousand rounds of ammunition. The transport returned without any mishap, although it had driven within 300 yards of the German lines and possibly closer to German patrols." For this exploit Sergeant Keeble and Driver Messenger were both awarded the Military Medal.

1918 Feb 22. Granted 14 days leave back to UK

1918. The Absentee Voter List for the Blackhill/Consett area of County Durham gives Arthur Keeble registered as an Absent Voter at 15 Newmarket Street, Consett giving his number as 13247 and his unit as 33rd Bn MGC.

1918 Jun 26. Posted home for commission

1918 Sep 20. Posted to Cambridge as Officer Cadet.

1919 Feb 15. Dispersed to Z Class Reserve. Never actually served as an officer. Living at 15 Newmarket St, Consett. His trade is given as "butcher"

1919 Mar 17 Durham Light Infantry. The undermentioned Cadets to be temp. 2nd Lts. Arthur William Keeble M.M. This is the promotion that he never actually took up.

1920 Dec 29. Joined ADRIC with service no. 1357. 2nd Lt DLI. Posted to M Coy.

1921 Feb 3. Two lorries of Auxiliaries were driving between Granard and Ballinalee. The Longford Flying Column under Sean McEoin had prepared to ambush them at Clonfin. The IRA exploded a mine under the first lorry, wounding all the Auxiliaries in that lorry. The second lorry ran into the ambush and its occupants were attacked by the IRA. The Auxiliaries surrendered when their ammunition ran out. McEoin gave orders that the wounded were to be cared for and that survivors should not be executed.. Keeble was slightly wounded in the ambush according to the press reports. However he did not receive any compensation, so it is unlikely that he was wounded in the ambush.

Fined £2-2-0 by Coy Commander

1920 Feb 20. Back from Longford and at Beggars Bush Barracks Dublin with ADRIC when he writes about his Medals to Army

1922 Jan 19. Discharged on demobilisation of ADRIC

1922 Jan 13. Relinquished his commission (Army records show that although commissioned he did not perform the duties of, or receive the pay of, an Officer

1925 Oct 12 married Evelyn Plews in Seaton Hurst, Northumberland. Children were

1937 Jan 25. Attests to Royal Engineers as a Territorial, living at 9 Blackthorne Cres, Ridges Estate, North Shields. He is a Butcher by now. 5ft 6in tall and 139 lbs. He starts again from the bottom as a Sapper

Ridges Estate is a large council estate, now known as Meadow Well, was constructed to house residents displaced by the clearance of the Dockwray Square slum. On Monday 9 September 1991, Meadow Well was featured heavily in the news across the UK as riots broke out, which continued for 3 days. Many properties were damaged, cars burned out and the local community centre burned down. As a result of the riots, the local housing was gradually improved by the council over the next three years through demolition & rebuilding, as well as renovation

1937 May 10 Breaks his false teeth while carrying a duckboard, his evidence to Court of Enquiry shows him to have been unemployed and without much money. The army therefore agrees to pay for his new teeth.

1937 May 26 Appointed Lance Corporal

1938 May 31. Promoted Corporal

1938 Aug 29 Appointed L/Sgt

1939 Jul 16. Embodied

1939 Aug 15. Deprived of Lance Sgt appointment by CO.

1940 Feb 16 Appointed Lance Sgt

1940 Mar 16 Transfers to RA - re-designated 37 Tyne Electrical Engineers. Searchlight Regt RA

1940 May 16 joins BEF in France. The Dunkirk withdrawal began the next day. The Battalion HQ and 307 Coy, 37 (Tyne Electrical Engineers) AA Bn RE arrived late in France, disembarking at Dunkirk on 16 May 1940.  They were sent straight to the Le Havre area and avoided being caught in the Dunkirk pocket. What followed for them was a mad dash across France to towards Brest while trying to avoid the advancing German army. They were one of the last units to leave France in mid June, being evacuated from St Malo, Brest and St Nazaire having suffered only two casualties.

1940 Jun. returns from France with BEF

1961 Jan/Mar Dies in Samford, Suffolk.This is the area south of Ipswich

Clonfin Ambush