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To The Pongo

William Keith Eltham (1886–1916)

Gifted at an early age, Keith performed on stage as a soloist at age nine. He also displayed talents as a writer and artist, and as a cricketer, twice representing Tasmania against England.
At the outbreak of war Keith enlisted, and was allotted to the 9th Battery, Australian Field Artillery. He left Tasmania with the first contingent. Within weeks of arriving Keith received a shrapnel wound to his mouth. Following his commission to the rank of Lieutenant he was again wounded in action and evacuated to London for treatment.
Keith returned to the front line in time for Christmas in the trenches. Eight days later he was catching up on much needed sleep when a shell hit the roof of his dugout. Lt. Keith Eltham died instantly. He was buried later that night at a nearby cemetery.

After the war William Keith Eltham’s body was re-interred at Guard’s Cemetery, Lesboeufs.  He had originally been buried in a small cemetery near Flers after being killed by a shell that fell into his dugout, killing him instantly.  Today there are 3,136 World War I casualties buried or commemorated at this site, located on the Somme in northern France.
After the war William Keith Eltham’s body was re-interred at Guard’s Cemetery, Lesboeufs. He had originally been buried in a small cemetery near Flers after being killed by a shell that fell into his dugout, killing him instantly. Today there are 3,136 World War I casualties buried or commemorated at this site, located on the Somme in northern France.

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