Keith, Thomas Alexander (No. 20639)

Keith, Thomas Alexander (Thomas)


No. 20639, 10th Battalion, Canadian Infantry (Alberta Regiment)

Killed in action on Thursday 22 April 1915 (aged 24)

No known grave


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Belgium (Panel 24-28-30)

Donaghadee and District War Memorial

First Donaghadee Presbyterian Church


Thomas Alexander Keith was born on 10 November 1890 in the townland of Templepatrick, Donaghadee and he was a son of Andrew and Harriet Keith (nee Robson, sometimes Robinson) who were married on 30 April 1886 in First Donaghadee Presbyterian Church.  Andrew Keith from Ballyvester was a son of William Keith, a labourer.  Harriet Robson (aged 20) from Ballyvester was a daughter of Thomas Robson, a labourer.

The Keith family lived in the townland of Ballyvester, Donaghadee.

Andrew Keith worked as an agricultural labourer and he and Harriet had ten children:

Henry (born 27 November 1886 in Ballyvester, Donaghadee)

William James (born 18 October 1888 in Ballyvester, Donaghadee)

Thomas Alexander (born 10 November 1890 in Templepatrick, Donaghadee)

Mary Anna (born 2 March 1893 in Ballyvester, Donaghadee)

Andrew Hanna (born 7 February 1896 in Ballyvester, Donaghadee)

Elizabeth (born 5 April 1898 in Ballyvester, Donaghadee)

Joseph (born 14 September 1901 in Ballyvester, Donaghadee)

Francis French (Frank, born 27 December 1903 in Ballyvester, Donaghadee)

Harriet Arabella (born 17 March 1906 in Ballyvester, Donaghadee)

John Robson (born 1 June 1909 in Ballyvester, Donaghadee)

All of these children were baptised in First Donaghadee Presbyterian Church.

Thomas Keith moved to Canada where he worked as a carpenter before he enlisted on 24 September 1914 in Valcartier, Quebec.  In his attestation papers, it was noted that he was 5 feet 7½ inches tall with a fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair.  Private Thomas Alexander Keith joined the 106th Regiment Winnipeg Light Infantry, was transferred to the 10th Battalion Alberta Regiment and was killed on 22 April 1915 – some seven months after he enlisted.  Initially he was reported as missing in action and in June 1916 it was officially confirmed that he must be presumed to have been killed in action on or since 22 April 1915.

Private Thomas Alexander Keith has no known grave and he is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial in Belgium; on Donaghadee and District War Memorial and in First Donaghadee Presbyterian Church.

Private Thomas Alexander Keith’s brother Andrew served with the 13th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, was awarded the Military Medal and survived the Great War.