John Leonard Keating
Serial No. 3332A
2nd Battalion, 53rd Battalion & 14th Field Artillery Brigade
John Leonard Keating - Information
John was a son of Irish migrant John and Catherine Anne Keating. John Snr. met Catherine in NSW, marrying at Cobar on the 16th of April 1884. The Keatings then moved from Nymagee to Ingleburn, where John Leonard was born in 1894. When John decided to enlist in the AIF, he was still living with his family in Ingleburn and working as a cleaner. He signed up on the 5th of August 1915 in Warwick Farm, aged 21. During training, he was assigned to the 11th Reinforcements, 2nd Battalion as a Private. He was then shipped overseas from Sydney on the 2nd of November 1915 on the HMAT Euripides.
John landed in Egypt in December, and was rushed to hospital in Abbassia on Christmas Eve with the mumps. He was shortly transferred to the 53rd Battalion at Zeitoun, joining them at Tel-el-Kebir in mid March 1916. With changing tactics on the Western Front, John was again transferred, posted to the 5th Division Artillery. Mustered as a Driver at Ferry Post, he joined the 25th Howitzer Brigade, 115th Battery. Moved to the Western Front in June, he was transferred to the 14th Field Artillery Brigade, 44th Battery the following month. John and his unit provided necessary artillery support for operations. John was then wounded in action on the 27th of July 1917. Shrapnel penetrated his back and neck. Five days later, he was evacuated to England to the Middlesex War Hospital. His injury was rather painful, requiring lengthy recuperation. By the end of the year, he was training at Larkhill, and in late January 1918, he left Southampton to return to the front. Shortly after he returned, the Germans launched their Spring Offensive breaking the stalemate. Bitter fighting ensued. In mid August, he reverted to Gunner at his own request. A week later, he was in hospital in Rouen with appendicitis. He went back to his unit in early September. The war was shortly over and John was sent back to Australia on the 3rd of May 1919.
John returned to his family in Ingleburn. He then met and fell in love with Eileen Mildred Maxwell. They married in Port Macquarie in 1923, quickly adding to their family. John passed away in Enfield on the 29th of March 1954, and was buried in Rookwood Cemetery.