Tuesday 16 February 2010

Captain Eric Oscar Keeler, MC

Born on 6 January 1894 in Belleville, Ontario - son of Ida Keeler, Belleville, Ontario - at the time of his enlistment in 1916: present address in Belleville, Ontario; trade as post office clerk; Presbyterian; currently a member of the 15th Regiment (two years); no previous military service.

Joined the 207th Battalion, CEF, as a Lieutenant in Ottawa, Ontario, on 8 April 1916 - taken on the strength of the 38th Battalion, CEF, as a Captain on 5 October 1917 - struck off the strength of the 38th Battalion on 16 June 1919.

Awarded the Military Cross - official citation: "For conspicuous gallantry in command of a company during the operations against the Drocourt-Queant line near Dury between September 1st and 3rd, 1918. Seeing large bodies of the enemy approaching his outpost positions, he organized a successful offensive against them, killing several, capturing two machine guns and one prisoner, and giving new identification. Next day he led his company with great dash, and having taken his first objective he immediately reorganized it and pushed forward to the final objective in time to reinforce the company in advance. After all senior officers with the companies had become casualties, he took hold of the situation and showed great ability to command." - unit recommendation dated 7 September 1918: "For gallantry and devotion to duty, while O.C. "B" Coy, during Scarpe Operations, Sept 1st and 2nd 1918."

(sources: Library and Archives Canada (www.collectionscanada.gc.ca), online attestation papers; Canadian War Museum, 19740281-001, Manu 58F 2 3, 207th Canadian Infantry Battalion and 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Nominal Roll; The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa Regimental Museum, A400-0007, Master Personnel List for the 38th Canadian Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force; Canadian War Museum, 19680229-001, Manu 58C 1 2.18, Honours and Awards, 38th Battalion (Records of recommendations for honours and awards and mentioned in dispatches 19161121 19190117))

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