Keeling, George B
Royal Indian Marine
Died as a result of enemy action on Sunday 19 March 1916
No known grave
Bombay (St. Thomas) Cathedral Memorial, Mumbai, India
Methodist College Belfast War Memorial
The death of Lieutenant George B. Keeling was reported in the 1 April edition of the Newtownards Chronicle under the headline The Late Lieutenant Keeling of Millisle.
George B. Keeling and Dorothy Webb were married on 3 February 1916 in Cardiff and, just over six weeks later, Lieutenant Keeling was drowned when his ship sank during a voyage between Bombay and Karachi. His ship was in a convoy and it is thought that it may have struck a floating mine. All hands were lost and his body was never recovered.
It was reported that George B. Keeling was the third son of John Stamp Keeling who lived at 1 The Coastguards, Millisle and before that in South Parade, Belfast.
John Stamp Keeling was a landscape artist (lithographic) and he and Ellen Keeling (nee Walker) had at least four children including:
Ellen Annie (born 12 February 1870 at 2 Belvoir Place, Ballynafeigh, Belfast)
In 1911, when he was 72 years old, John Stamp Keeling was living in the townland of Ballymacruise, Carrowdore with his wife Mary Anne and her daughter Helen Annie Keeling (John’s adopted daughter).
John Stamp Keeling died on 9 January 1922 and Helen Annie Keeling died on 7 September 1931.
George B. Keeling attended Methodist College Belfast (MCB) from 1884 until 1886 and, after leaving school, he went to sea. He served his apprenticeship with the Lord Line (Messrs Thomas Dixon & Sons Belfast), was with the company for 25 years and rose step by step until he was in command of the SS Lord Dufferin. He relinquished that position in January 1916 when Messrs Dixon & Sons sold the SS Lord Dufferin.
George B. Keeling applied for Admiralty employment and was given a commission in the Royal Indian Marine. He was killed on 19 March 1916.
One of George Keeling’s brothers had been killed some years earlier in a collision at sea.
George’s brother Ralph married Mary Hayes on 1 June 1900 in McQuiston Memorial Presbyterian Church, Belfast and their son, Ralph Radcliffe Blanchard Keeling, was born on 5 August 1901.
Lieutenant George B. Keeling is commemorated on the Methodist College Belfast War Memorial.