Serjeant 7936 John Keating

Keating Jack 96 389x600

Killed in Action Gallipoli on Friday, 17th December 1915, age 30.
Commemorated on Panel 104 to 113 of Helles Memorial, Turkey.

4th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 88th Brigade of 29th Division.

Son of Mrs Florence Short, of 9, Branston St., Birmingham. Deceased's home was 6 Anderson Road, Tipton, Staffs.
Born: Sheffield, Enlisted: Worcester, Resident: Birmingham.

First landed Balkans, 25th April 1915.
Medal entitlement: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Not commemorated on any Tipton memorial.
Commemorated here because his death was reported in the Tipton Herald.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/692844/

Genealogical Data

1901 Census
6, back 22 St Mark's Street, Birmingham.
Francis Short (34, Jewel Case Maker, born London), his wife Florence Short (36, born Chester), and Cyrus John Keating (19, Step-Son, Fitter (tools), born Sheffield).
It was 1910 before a marriage of Florence Keating and Francis Short was registered in Birmingham!

1911 Census
19 Sherbourne Street, Ladywood, Birmingham.
Francis Short (44, Jewel Case Maker, born Birmingham) and his wife Florence (44, born Birmingham). They had just one surviving child of the 5 born. This would be John (Jack) who was in the Army at that time with the 4th Worcesters, most likely at Bareilly in India.

Personal Data

Jack Keating, also known as Jack Short, was reported in the Tipton Herald as 'a Tipton soldier' whose home address was 6 Anderson Road, Tipton. None of the records that survive mention Tipton so he must have made his home in Tipton after the 1901 census, and had probably joined the Worcesters in about 1902. Jack had served with the Worcesters in India, and they had returned from Burma when war was declared.

Jack landed at Cape Helles on 25th April 1915, the first landing date for the Worcesters. He served throughout the Gallipoli campaign, but was killed just 2 days before they were evacuated.

He was "Mentioned in Dispatches" for his exceptional service: London Gazette, 5th November 1915, Page 10998.

Action resulting in his death

The 4th Worcesters were part of 88th Brigade of 29th Division. They had landed on the Gallipoli peninsula on 25th April 1915, and had lost many men due to the bitter fighting, and through disease. It became apparent that the expedition was not to be a success, and the decision to evacuate the Gallipoli peninsula was made in November 1915. The evacuation began in early December, and for the 4th Worcesters was completed on December 19th.

Private Keating is recorded as being killed in action two days before the evacuation was completed, on December 17th, when the remaining troops continued their usual pattern of harassing the Turks to prevent them thinking that an evacuation was in progress. No mention is made in Stacke's 'History of the Worcesters' of any action on December 17th, but it would seem that Keating was the last 4th Worcester killed in action in Gallipoli. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Tipton Herald 4th March 1916
Another Tipton soldier, Sergeant J. Keating, better known as Jack Short, 4th Worcestershire Regiment, has laid down his life in the great fight against the unspeakable Hun peril. Deceased's home address was 6 Anderson Road, Park Estate, Tipton. He was 30 years old, and had served for 12 years in Army. An officer, writing to the deceased's mother, says "Your son has done excellent work for the Battalion in the Dardanelles, and was absolutely fearless. He has been mentioned several times for good and gallant work. I have personally known him for several years. He was in my company in India, and his sudden end was a shock to me."