Malvern College First World War Casualty

2nd Lieut Walter Fischer Keep

Photo of Walter Fischer Keep
House and time at Malvern: No 3, 1897 - 1901.

Regiment: Hampshire Regt.
Died: 07 June 1917 aged 35 in Belgium. Killed in action.
Battle: Battle of Messines. Cemetery: Bus House Cemetery A 20

Son of Walter and Helene Keep, of 11, Rossdale Rd., Putney and 6 Lower Common South, Putney, S.W. b. 1882.
Modern IIIóLower Modern I. House Prefect.
Great War, 2nd Lieutenant 15th Bn. Hampshire Regiment.
Husband of Florence Keep.

'W. F. Keep when at School gained no distinguished position, but he is remembered as of a bright and happy disposition, always ready with a bright smile to make the best of everything. He was always keen on everything connected with his house and School. It is said of him by his brother officers that "he did not know what fear meant and always took a tremendous interest in everything that went on around him." His Colonel speaks of him as "a most promising officer, and all will miss his cheery confidence and good humour."' (Malvernian, Jul 1917).

Extract from unit war diary:
7.6.17 At Zero hour (3.10am) we blew a large mine under the enemy's crater at St Eloi, at the same time our artillery opened a barrage, when the 123rd Brigade commenced attacking - Two hours later we moved up in artillery formation to the Damstrasse & upon arrival there we deployed into position ready for the attack. Our own barrage was excellent on the night but very ragged on the left and centre.
6.50am. We moved forward on our objectives. Many casualties were caused by the guns remaining on the second objective on the left, & it was not until the artillery were informed, that it was finally occupied, after this barrage had finally moved forward.
9.10am It was observed that enemy were moving in the valley beyond Observer Row and at 10.15am 500 men were rushed over the ridge just behind to join them, these were received with pretty heavy Lewis Gun fire, and several casualties were caused, from this period onwards various attempts to make a local counter attack on Denys Wood were made & these took place at 10am and 2 and 7pm. None of the attacks were in any degree successful and the one at 3pm was unexpectedly met by our own attack carried out by the 24th Division. Prior to these attacks we were subjected to intense bombardments, which died away when our artillery opened fire.
Our casualties were not heavy, A Coy suffering most severely & 2nd Lieut Keep of C Coy was killed.

Service record: WO 339/67075
Unit war diary: WO 95/2634/5

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