Serial No. 932
3rd Pioneer Battalion
Keith Willis - Information
At the age of 27, Keith enlisted in the AIF on the 7th of January 1916 all the way up in Brisbane. At the time, Keith was working as an engineer, and residing in Ingleburn with his family. The Willis family came to the area from Tumut, where Keith was born. Due to his work experience, he was assigned to the 3rd Pioneer Battalion as a Corporal. He then departed Melbourne on the 6th of June 1916 onboard the HMAT Wandilla.
Keith arrived in Plymouth in late July. He had begun working on details, when he was admitted to the 10th Brigade Hospital with influenza. In November, he was transported to the Western Front. In January 1917, Keith was promoted Sergeant and taken to a Cadet School in England, and later attended a Division School Pioneer Battalion. In March, he joined No. 5 Officers Cadet Battalion in Cambridge. By the end of the year, he qualified for a Commission, and was appointed 2nd Lieutenant on the 3rd of November. On the 18th, he returned to France to the 3rd Pioneer Battalion. He was then promoted to Lieutenant on the 1st of March 1918. Keith and his unit provided works in and out of the lines, such as constructing trench embankments, roads, billets, supplying water and various other jobs. He continued to work with his unit until he was sent back to Australia on the 19th of August 1919. He returned home to his family in Ingleburn, discharged from service on the 8th of December.