Keel | Robert William

  • First names

    Robert William

  • Age

    19

  • Date of birth

    1925

  • Date of death

    16-10-1944

  • Service number

    14661609

  • Rang

    Private

  • Regiment

    King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, 4th Bn.

  • Grave number

    IV. E. 5.

Ronald William Keel
Ronald William Keel
Graf-Ronald-William-Keel
Graf-Ronald-William-Keel


Biography

Son of Allen George en Gertrude Agnes Keel, Southsea, Hampshire.

Before enlisting in 1943, Ronald William Keel had worked for the Post Office in Portsmouth, delivering telegrams. He was the youngest of four children. Ronald’s brother, George, who was an RAF pilot in the war, was shot down and killed in 1940 during the Battle of Britain.

Ronald William Keel was killed on october 16th 1944, while his unit was trying to drive the German 1st Parachute Army from the region when it came under heavy mortar and artillery fire during a battle in the neighbourhood of the railway Nijmegen-Venlo, near Holthees-Smakt.

Private Keel was one of three men from A Company 4KSLI who were killed in a continuous 12-hour bombardment, when a shell landed in their trench.
Ronald Wiliam Keel was temporary buried at the Holtheseweg (J. Weijmans) in Overloon in an unmarked grave, because there was no identity tag on his body.

When he was reburied at Overloon War Cemetery in 1947, his headstone was marked with “unknown soldier”.
In 2008 researchers were at last able to identify the grave as Pte Keel’s. They used dental records, photographs and from notes made in 1947 it was known that the unknown soldier had crooked teeth. Private Keel’s identity was then finally confirmed by a single record of his crooked teeth, clearly visible in the photograph of the soldier.
And so the 64 year old mystery was solved after all.

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