Private 240130 Frederick Keating

Keating Frederick 96 416x600

Killed in Action on Monday, 29th April 1918, age 26.
Buried in Grave II. C. 2. at Beuvry Communal Cemetery Extension, Pas De Calais, France.

1st/5th Bn., South Staffordshire Regiment. 137th Brigade of 46th Division.

Husband of Mrs S. Keating, of 7, Park Lane Passage, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Tipton, Enlisted: Tipton, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/305077/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Frederick Keating registered September quarter 1892 in Dudley.

1901 Census
5 Hipkins Street, Bloomfield, Tipton, Staffs.
Ada Keating (34, Widow, born Tipton), and her 2 sons: Fred (8, born Tipton), and Frank (6, born Tipton).

1911 Census
3 Court 2 House, Tibbington Terrace, Tipton, Staffs.
Ada Keating (45, Widow, born Tipton), and her 2 sons: Fred (19, Miner - Underground, born Tipton), and Frank (16, Miner - Underground, born Tipton).

Marriage of Frederick Keating and Selina Burton registered December quarter 1913 in Dudley. Frederick and Selina had 2 children: Ethel registered in Dudley March quarter 1915, and Elizabeth registered in Dudley September quarter 1918.

Personal Data

After Frederick's death, his outstanding army pay and allowances amounted to £22/4/4d (22 pounds, 4 shillings and 4 pence); this was paid to his widow, Selina, in December 1918. His War Gratuity was £17/10/0d (17 pounds and 10 shillings), this was also paid to his widow in December 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Frederick had enlisted in approximately August 1914.

Action resulting in his death

The Germans broke through south of Arras on 21st March 1918 during the Spring Offensive. The 46th Division was ordered to relieve a Canadian Division at Lens on 27th March, suffering severe gas shelling and a vicious air attack on transport lines. The Division was relieved on 11th April.

The Division next took over the line north of La Bassée Canal on the 24th April, afterwards known as Gorre and Essars sectors, extending from near Givenchy on the right, to the Lawe Canal on the left, at the nearest point about two and-a-half miles from Béthune. There were no trenches, just an irregular series of disconnected holes and no communications trenches to hide the troop's movement to the front line. The whole area was perfectly flat, and almost entirely under observation by the Germans, by day no movement was possible and no work could be done, apart from ordinary sentry duty.

The front line marked the limit of the German offensive in April; on the right was the 'Route "A" Keep' sub-sector, one of the old 1915 strong points with two concrete machine-gun emplacements. It was now a mere heap of shattered trees and shattered trenches, undoubtedly the unhealthiest part of the whole Divisional front. The so-called "Keep" was merely the highest ground in the locality, an important tactical feature due to a degree of visibility over the German lines, though having nothing in the way of defences to warrant the term "Keep." There had been considerable fighting over its possession during March and April 1918, in 20 days it changed hands nine times.

On 28th and 29th April, the 1/5th South Staffords made a successful attack on 'Route "A" Keep', the Germans made no further efforts to retake it. Corpses from both sides lay all around, and made the place distinctly unpleasant. Life was made still more unpleasant by constant trench mortaring and shelling, whilst protection slight due to the rudimentary nature of the trench system.

It was during the actions around 'Route "A" Keep' that Frederick Keating was killed on 28th April, his body never being identified and he is now commemorated on the Loos Memorial at Dud Corner Cemetery.

The 1/5th South Staffs had 20 men killed in this sector during April 1918. Two men from Tipton in addition to Frederick Keating were killed in these actions, Arthur Westwood and Edward Burton both being killed in action on 29th April.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 10th June 1918
South Staffs Regiment, Keating, 240130, F., (Tipton).