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Biographical Dictionary - Coorow, Carnamah, Three Springs


"Jim" James KEENAN

Born November 1876 in Bishop Auckland, Durham, England [30: item 7364413]
Son of Patrick and Catherine KEENAN, who were both native of Ireland [20]
Grew up in Bishop Auckland, Durham, England where his father worked as a Grocer and Broker [20]
In 1881 he was living with his parents, siblings John, Thomas, Mary and Joseph at 66 Newgate Street in Bishop Auckland [20]
Ten years later he was living with Oliver and Bridget WARTON at Union Place in Gateshead, Durham, England [20]
By 1901 he was working as a Hawker/Pawnbroker selling various articles in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Northumberland, England [20]
Served four and a half years with the Northumberland Hussars Imperial Yeomanry in England [30: item 7364413]
Labourer in Arrino, Carnamah and Three Springs in 1914 and 1915 [19] [30: item 7364413]
Enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 15 November 1915 in Perth, Western Australia [30: item 7364413]
On enlistment was noted as 5 feet 7¾ inches tall, weighing 139 lbs. with blue eyes, dark brown hair and a fresh complexion [30]
On 7 February 1916 at the Blackboy Hill military camp was appointed to the 14th Reinforcements of the 11th Battalion [30]
Embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia for active service abroad on the H.M.A.T. A28 Miltiades on 12 February 1916 [94]
Disembarked from the Miltiades at Suez, Egypt on 10 March 1916 [30]
After a short period of training in Egypt and France joined his battalion in France on 16 June 1916 [30]
Private 4538 in the 14th Reinforcements of the 11th Battalion in the Australian Imperial Force during the First World War [30]
In the attack on Pozieres he was Wounded in Action in France on 22 July 1916 [30]
Accounts stated it was the explosion of a shell that damaged his left leg while hospital records stated it to be a gunshot wound [18]
The injury to his leg was severe, eye-witness accounts stating his foot was almost no longer attached [18]
He heroically refused to be taken by stretcher until others who had been injured had been taken [18]
Laid in a shell hole smoking a cigarette one of his comrades gave him until eventually being taken by stretcher to medical attention [18]
Admitted as a patient of the 1/2 South Midland Field Ambulance in France on 23 July 1916 and died a few hours later [18] [30]
Was unconscious from admission to the field hospital until his death, said to have been from a loss of blood [18]
Died 24 July 1916 in France; buried in the Extension portion of the Military Cemetery at Warloyballon in Somme, France [17] [30]
The Rev. S. J. GOSLING officiated at his burial which was at Plot 5, Row E, Grate 13 of the cemetery [30]
Personal effects on him when he died were a letter, handkerchief, rosary, devotional book, pipe, pouch, scapula & damaged mirror [30]
His personal effects were sent in a package to his next of kin, his father Patrick KEENAN in Bishop Auckland [30]
Both his father and his sister Mary made inquiries with the Australian Red Cross Society as to his final hours [18]
His name appears on the Three Springs Honour Board, which was unveiled on Tuesday 3 June 1919 [9: 6-Jun-1919] [10: 13-Jun-1919]
He is also memorialised on the Carnamah War Memorial and the Carnamah Honour Board [35]

Reference:  Carnamah Historical Society & Museum and North Midlands Project, 'James Keenan' in Biographical Dictionary of Coorow, Carnamah and Three Springs, retrieved 17 August 2019 from  [ sources ]

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