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Person Details
16 Apr 1897
George William was the son of Enoch and Harriet Elizabeth Keeling nee Freeston. His father Enoch was born in Epsom, Surrey, in 1862. Enoch's mother, Mary Keeling, was widowed young and in 1871 was living on High Street, Epsom, with her young family of five children, including eight-year old Enoch. Her occupation was given as chemist. In 1881 Enoch was a grocer's apprentice living on the premises in Stoke upon Trent, and by 1891 a grocer's assistant in Islington, again living on the premises. His mother Harriet Elizabeth was born in Long Bennington, Lincolnshire, the daughter of John and Jane Freeston. In 1871 and 1881 they were living on Church Street, Long Bennington, where her father was a butcher. Enoch and Harriet were married in Long Bennington on 17 September 1894 (J/A/S Newark) although their residence was given as Nottingham. They had two sons, both of whom were born in Nottingham: Harry Freeston b. 22 July 1895 (J/A/S Nottingham) and George Wiliam b. 16 April 1897 (A/M/J Nottingham). In 1901 Enoch (38), a grocer's traveller, and Harriet (36) were living at 156 Queen's Walk, Meadows, Nottingham, with their two sons, Harry (5) and George (3). Also in the household was Enoch's mother, Mary Keeling (65). The family had moved to 25 Colwick Road, Nottingham, by 1911. Enoch was now working as a grocer's assistant and his eldest son, Harry (15) was a pawn broker's assistant while George was still at school. There were five boarders in the house: Eva Stimpson (3 b. London) and Henry James Pratt (48 b. Wisbech Lincs) a widower who was a merchant's traveller and his three children Ivy (21), Elwin (19) and Bernard (9). George's mother, Harriet, died on 14 July 1915 (J/A/S Nottingham) aged 51. Enoch and his surviving son Harry later lived at 23 Ladysmith Street, Nottingham. Enoch married secondly Rachel Griffiths in 1920 (J/A/S Nottingham). He died on 30 April 1932 (A/M/J Nottingham) aged 69; he was still living at 23 Ladysmith Street. George's brother Harry attested on 12 May 1916 at the age of 20; he was working as a pawn broker's assistant. He served initially in the army but transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (105744) on 23 November 1917 and later to the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918. He extended his service voluntarily and was still serving in February 1920. Harry married Ida Lucy Fitzsimmons (b. 5 March 1897) on 17 July 1919 (J/A/S Nottingham) and they had two sons, George Arthur b. 2 August 1926 d. 13 August 1926 and Denis b. 24 January 1930. They lived initially at 23 Ladysmith Street, but by the time of George's birth they were living at 78 Lees Hill Street, Nottingham. In 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled they were living at 527 Wells Road, Nottingham. Harry was now a pawn broker's manager and Ida a frock machinist; their son Denis was still at school. Ida died on 30 August 1942 aged 45. Harry married secondly Ellen M Cawthan/Cauthan in 1944 (J/A/S Nottingham). He died in 1983 (J/F/M Nottingham).
He was a lace warehouseman. His service record gave his religion as Wesleyan.
04 Feb 1917
797496 - CWGC Website
156 Colwick Road, Sneinton, Nottingham
Able Seaman
Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve
RNVR, Drake Bn, Royal Naval Division George William Keeling enrolled in the Royal Naval Division on 25th November 1915 as an Ordinary Seaman but was not called up up until 16 June 1916. He was advanced to Able Seaman on 1 October 1916. He reported to the Recruiting Depot and was initially drafted to the 4th Reserve Battalion, Blandford. He entrained at Blandford on the night of 21/22 November 1916 from the 3rd Reserve Battalion for Drake Battalion BEF. He joined Drake Bn from the Base Depot on 12 December 1916. George was killed in action on 4 February 1917. The report confirming his death was sent on 19 February; his next of kin was informed and his name was included on the RND 'DD' [Discharged Dead] List No. 832. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
Notice in the 'Roll of Honour', published 19th February 1917 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “KEELING. – Killed in action, February 4th, 1917, Able Seaman George W. Keeling. - Deeply mourned by his two best pals, Stanley and Clarence (in France).” 'In memoriam' notice published 4th February 1918 in the Nottingham Evening Post :- “KEELING. – In memory of George W., dearly loved younger son of Enoch and the late Cissie Keeling, who was killed in action February 4th, 1917. – Fondly remembered by his loving dad, brother Harry (R.F.C.), and Eva. “KEELING. – Killed in action February 4th, 1917, A.B. George W. Keeling, R.N.D. – Sadly missed by his chums Clarence and Stanley (with the colours).” Above notices are courtesy of Jim Grundy and his facebook pages Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918 Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 15 July 1915: ‘Keeling. On 14th inst., Harriet Elizabeth (Cissie), beloved wife of Enoch Keeling. Peace after pain.’ (www.britishnewspaper archive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Births’, 2 August 1926: ‘Keeling. On 31st July to Mr and Mrs HF Keeling (nee Ida Fitzsimmons), 78 Lees Hill-street, a son.’ and Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 13 August 1926: ‘Keeling. August 13th, George Arthur, (-) of Ida and Harry Keeling. Only lent.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 2 May 1932: ‘Keeling. On April 30th, at 23 Ladysmith-street, Enoch, beloved husband of Rachel, passed peacefully away after short illness.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 31 August 1942: ‘Keeling. August 30th, Ida (nee Fitzsimmons), dearly loved wife of Harry and mother of Denis, passed peacefully away. Funeral arrangement later.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’, 31 August 1942: ‘Keeling. August 30th, Ida, eldest daughter of Lucy and the late FC Fitzsimmons. At rest. From broken-hearted mother, sisters and brothers.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on