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Keith Bayley


Serial No:
Serial No. 955

Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force & 3rd Battalion


Keith Bayley - Information

Interestingly, Keith Bayley was born in Calcutta, India on the 3rd of February 1891. Before the war began, Keith'€™s older brother, Frank, had joined the Navy. Both Keith and Frank had an affinity for shipping. As Frank served his country in the Navy, Keith completed a 5 year apprenticeship with the Adelaide Steamships Company. When peace was broken in August 1914, Keith was working as a naval engineer and living with his mother, Minnie, at 223 Ernest St, North Sydney. Keith then joined his brother in the fight, signing up on the 11th of August 1914 in Sydney.

Keith had been posted to the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force as a Private and was sent to German New Guinea. On the 5th of October, Keith was made a Lance Corporal, and then Extra Regimental Corporal on the 20th. He returned to Australia in February 1915, as the AN & MEF was disbanded. As a result, Keith was discharged from military service on the 4th of March 1915.

Keith then decided to continue supporting the war effort by applying for a commission with the AIF in late 1915. He was appointed 2nd Lieutenant with the 13th Reinforcements, 3rd Battalion in September. Keith was again shipped out for war service, arriving in Egypt before being subsequently transported to France. The 3rd Battalion were then introduced to trench warfare in quiet section of the line, known as The Nursery. However, here, a couple months later Keith was wounded. On the 3rd of July at Armentières, Keith was shot in his hand and shoulder. He also suffered further injuries to his back, falling off the parapet when he was hit. He was rushed to the 1st Casualty Clearing Station and then admitted to the 7th Stationary Hospital in Boulogne. Keith was eventually evacuated to England and admitted to No. 3 London General Hospital for treatment. Here, metal fragments had to be removed from his hand during an operation. Although it was successful, he experienced loss of power and sensation. From the fall, his spinal cord was injured causing loss of strength and movement in his legs. After a few months his gun shot wounds healed, however, he could only walk with great difficulty and his right leg was still partly paralysed. He eventually gained more mobility, and after an extensive recovery was sent back to the front.

Keith joined the 3rd Battalion in the field in October 1916, during the onset of a terrible winter. However, he was not in the lines long, before he returned to hospital suffering with trench foot on the 2nd of November. He was again evacuated to England for a lengthy recovery. Keith recuperated at Perham Downs, and was then transferred to the 61st Battalion. In May, he commenced exercises with the 1st Training Battalion, and in June was stationed to the Weymouth Signal School. However, his unpleasant war experience weighed heavily upon Keith throughout 1917. He went AWL twice and was arrested. A Court Martial was held at Wilton on the 11th of December 1917 where he was found guilty and fined 66 days pay. The fact that he was absent for only a few days and had suffered horrific wounds were taken into account. Keith, now a Lieutenant, was classed as unfit for military service. He was then sent home to Australia on the 10th of March 1918, diagnosed with of neurasthenia (shell shock).