1918-2008: Ninety Years of Remembrance

Soldier Record

Percy Keep

Contributed by: Pam Best, on 2008-11-10

Percy William Keep
First Name Percy
Surname Keep
Year of Birth 1888
Year of Death 1918
Regiment Grenadier Guards
Place of Wartime Residence Denchworth/Wantage, Berkshire

Percy's Story

Percy Keep married Elsie Fletcher on 1st June 1914 in Steventon, Berkshire. Percy enlisted in Wantage on 9th December 1914 at the same time as his brother Charlie. On the 14th August 1915 the brothers moved with their unit, 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards to France.

The brothers served together at the Battle of Loos and later at the Somme, with Charlie being wounded and evacuated to England from Flers. In July 1917 the 4th Battalion, Grenadier Guards, including Percy, were part of the Guards Division preparing for the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). On 4th August 1917 Percy was awarded the Military Medal. He was part of a Carrying Party during the attack, his citation reading:

"His work throughout was examplary. His courage, energy and intelligence greatly aided the work of consolidation of the Battalion. Nothing was too much trouble or too much to ask. He made frequent journeys under very heavy shellfire, which made no difference to his work; he set a splendid example to his men. He is deserving of the highest praise."

In March 1918 4th Battalion became involved acting as rear guard in the German Offensive (Kaisers Battle) and spent ten days from 21st March 1918 in strenuous fighting, digging and marching. The whole period was spent in open warfare and not in trenches. It was cold and wet weather though the men were supplied with hot food from cookers which had been set up.

The Battalion War Diary records that they came under shellfire in Ayette on 29th March 1918. There were two casualties that day, a Private A Ward and Corporal Percy Keep MM. They were two out of four officers and 75 other ranks from 4th Battalion Grenadier Guards killed or wounded during the last ten days of March 1918.

Percy William Keep MM was buried in Gommecourt Wood New Cemetery at Foncquevillers and Elsie was notified by telegram of his death on 9th April 1918.

Other memories

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