Keane, Ernest John (No. 225455)

Keane, Ernest John (Ernest)      

Able Seaman

No. 225455, HMS Egmont, Royal Navy

Died of disease on Friday 6 August 1915 (aged 27)

Buried:

Alexandria (Chatby) Military and War Memorial Cemetery, Egypt (Grave L. 82)

Commemorated:

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Bangor and District War Memorial

CWGC headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor

Brother of Ship’s Steward Assistant Stephen Vincent Keane

BIOGRAPHY

Ernest John Keane was born on 7 December 1887 at Clandeboye Coastguard Station, Bangor and he was a son of Richard and Elizabeth Keane (nee Sumner, sometimes Summers) who were married around 1874/1875.

Richard Keane served as a Coast Guard in the Royal Navy and he and Elizabeth lived in Cork, Wexford and Whitehead, Co Antrim before they came to live in Helen’s Bay, Co Down.

Richard and Elizabeth Keane had at least eight children including:

Minnie (born around 1877/1878 in County Cork)

Anne Maria (Annie, born 9 October 1883 in Barrow, Wexford)

Ernest John (born on 7 December 1887 in Clandeboye Coastguard Station, Bangor)

Hugh Thomas (born 20 February 1889 in Helen’s Bay Coastguard Station)

Stephen Vincent (born 11 July 1890 in Helen’s Bay Coastguard Station)

Ernest John Keane was born in County Down and like his father he joined the Royal Navy.  He joined at Devonport on his 18th birthday and it was noted that he was 5 feet 4 inches tall with brown hair, blue eyes and a fresh complexion.  He had a scar on his left shin and tattoos on his left arm and hand – a cross on his forearm in memory of his mother, shamrocks on his hand and rings on each of the four fingers.  He had been working as a messenger before he joined the Navy.

Able Seaman Ernest John Keane served aboard HMS Egmont, a depot ship based in Malta, and also aboard the submarine HMS B9.  Built in 1906 this submarine was deployed in the Mediterranean until September 1915 and then in 1917 she was converted by the Italian Navy into a surface patrol boat and used in the Adriatic.

Able Seaman Ernest John Keane was 27 when he died of enteric fever on 6 August 1915 in the 21st General Hospital Alexandria and, at the time of his death, his widowed father was living with daughters Minnie and Annie Keane at 37 Dufferin Avenue, Bangor.

Able Seaman Ernest John Keane is commemorated on Bangor and District War Memorial and on his brother’s CWGC headstone in Bangor Cemetery, Newtownards Road, Bangor:

ALSO IN MEMORY OF

225455 A.B. ERNEST JOHN KEANE

SUBMARINE ‘B.9’

DIED 5TH AUGUST 1915 AGE 27