Keith, Daniel Maclean (No. 9438)

Keith, Daniel Maclean (Daniel)


No. 9438, 1st Battalion, Royal Scots Fusiliers

Killed in action on Wednesday 16 June 1915 (aged 32)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 19 and 33)

Newtownards and District War Memorial (as Duncan Keith)

Graham family headstone in Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Graveyard


Daniel Maclean Keith was born at 7.00 pm on 27 August 1882 at 20 Greenhill Road, Paisley, Renfrew, Scotland and he was a son of Alexander (Alex) and Mary Keith (nee Darroch) who were married in 1870.

Alexander Keith worked as a gasworks stoker and he and Mary had at least six children:

Ann Neill (Annie, born around 1871/1872)

George Elder (born around 1873/1874)

Mary (born around 1876/1877)

Alexander (Alex, born around 1878/1879)

Duncan (born around 1880/1881)

Daniel (born 27 August 1882 at 20 Greenhill Road, Paisley)

Daniel’s mother, Mary Keith, died in 1882 and his father, Alexander Keith, married Bella Cameron in 1884.

Daniel McLean Keith enlisted on 19 December 1905 in Glasgow for a period of nine years in Army Service followed by three years in the Army Reserve.  It was noted in his attestation papers that he was 5 feet 4⅞ inches tall with a pale complexion, blue-grey eyes and dark brown hair.  He had tattoos on his right and left arms and hands.  He joined the Scottish Rifles and his service number was 9088.  He was discharged on 20 January 1906 ‘having claimed it on payment of £10 within three months of his attestation’.  £5 was refunded to his brother, George, on 19 November 1907.

After Private Daniel McLean Keith (No. 9438) was killed on 16 June 1915, his death was reported in the 7 July 1915 edition of The Scotsman newspaper:

His home address was 33 Thread Street, Paisley, he had been a Piper in Paisley Pipe Band before he enlisted ‘seven years ago’; at the end of his term of service, six weeks before was broke out, he entered the Reserve; he was recalled to the Colours in August 1914; he was twice wounded at Mons; when home in October 1914 he was married; he returned to France in November; aged 32, he was survived by his widow.

In the 12 February 1916 edition of the Newtownards Chronicle it was reported that he served as a Drummer with the 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers.  His wife, Maggie Keith (nee Graham), lived in Newtownards and, after Private Daniel Keith was killed in action on 16 June 1915, she received a memorial sympathy card from Paisley Town Council.  The card was surmounted by two wreaths with between them the words ‘European War’.  In the centre, there was a figure of an angelic warrior holding a sword in one hand and in the other a large Union banner.

The wording on the card was: ‘The Provost, Magistrates and Councillors of the Borough of Paisley desire to convey to you their deep sympathy in your great bereavement in the death of Daniel Keith, your brave husband, who gave his life for King and Country’.

A copy of the book entitled The Beautiful Thing That Has Happened to Our Boys accompanied the card.

Daniel McLean Keith and Maggie Graham were married on 2 October 1914 at 14 Greenlow Avenue, Paisley after publication according to the forms of the United Free Church of Scotland.  Daniel McLean Keith, a bachelor and an iron driller from 9 Galloway Street, Paisley was a son of Alexander and Mary Keith (nee Darroch).  Maggie Graham, a spinster and a domestic servant from 33 Thread Street, Paisley was a daughter of James and Martha Graham (nee Pollock).  Martha Graham died on 27 April 1892 (aged 34) and James Graham died on 3 May 1915.

Private Daniel Keith (No. 9438) has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium; on Newtownards and District War Memorial (as Duncan Keith) and also in Donaghadee Parish Church of Ireland Graveyard on his wife’s family grave headstone (Graham) along with the inscription:

Until the day break and the shadows flee away