Henry Robert Keane
Serial No. 2928
55th Battalion & 18th Battalion
Henry Robert Keane - Information
Henry Robert Keane was born in Campbelltown c1885. When the war began, Henry was working as a labourer and living in Milson’s Point with his wife Dorothy. At the age of 30, Henry enlisted in the AIF in Goulburn on the 19th of July 1916. He trained at Goulburn Camp, where in September he was posted to the 7th Reinforcements, 55th Battalion. His unit then departed Sydney Harbour on the 25th of October 1916 aboard the HMAT Ascanius. After a lengthy journey, Henry arrived in Devonport at the end of December.
In late February 1917, Henry proceeded to the Western Front via Folkestone, joining the 18th Battalion in the trenches. He was not in the lines long, before he was wounded in action on the 3rd of May during the Second Battle of Bullecourt. As the 18th Battalion launched an attack on the Hindenburg Line against cement bunkers, thick barbed wire, and machine gun fire, Henry was shot in his right buttock and was taken to hospital in Boulogne. From there, he was evacuated to England and admitted to Devonport hospital. After some rest, Henry left Perham Downs to return to his unit at the front in October. He rejoined his unit as they were fighting in the mud during the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium. The following year, Henry’s Battalion was faced with the commencement of the German Spring Offensive in March 1918. The Allies were hit hard and retreated. They were desperate to halt the advance and ordered to protect Amiens, the 18th then stood their ground at Villers-Bretonneux. Here, Henry was wounded in action a second time, hit in his left knee on the 15th of April. The wound was serious and very painful; consequently in May, he was evacuated for treatment in England. By the end of October, Henry was declared medically unfit to return to active service. He was then invalided back home to Australia on the Borda by the end of 1918.