The AIF Project

Bennett Walter KEID

Regimental number3809
Place of birthOrmeau, Queensland
SchoolState School, Junction Park, Brisbane, Queensland; Christian Brothers, Gregory Terrace, Brisbane, Queensland
ReligionBaptist
OccupationClerk
AddressMolonga Street, Graceville, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 7.5"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs M E Keid, Chewton, Molonga Terrace, Graceville, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date6 May 1915
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A50 Itonus on 30 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 3 September 1916
Place of death or woundingMouquet Farm, Pozieres, France
Age at death from cemetery records23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Charles George and Mary Elizabeth KEID, Molonga Terrace, Graceville, Brisbane
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 1153 Sergeant Edward Alexander KEID, 9th Bn, died of wounds, 2 November 1917; 61 Pte Harold Guy Walker KEID, 13th Field Ambulance, returned to Australia, 15 March 1917; 1154 Pte Henry Charles KEID, 9th Bn, returned to Australia, 10 January 1918; 170 Pte William KEID, 2nd Light Horse Regiment, died of wounds, 23 June 1915; Lt Leonard KEID, 49th Bn, killed in action, 3 September 1916.~
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to join 49th Bn, Zeitoun, 29 February 1916, and reverted to ranks from Acting Sergeant. Promoted Corporal, 1 March 1916. To School of Instruction, Serapeum, 12 April 1916; rejoined unit, 22 April 1916. Promoted Sergeant, 4 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 5 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 12 June 1916.

Killed in action near Pozieres, 4 September 1916.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, KEID Bennett Walter

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