Biography

Birth date: 11 August 1891
Birth place: Australia: New South Wales, Singleton
Death date: 29 December 1970
Death place: Australia: New South Wales, Sydney
Final rank: Sergeant
Service number: 889 - First World War, 1914-1918
N101420 - Second World War, 1939-1945
Units:
  • 2 Battalion
  • 15 Lines of Communication Area
  • 34 Lines of Communication Area
  • 2nd Australian Infantry Battalion

Keith Rourke was born in 1887 at Singleton, New South Wales to parents Henry and Amy Rourke. He enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 28 August 1914, joining the 2nd Infantry Battalion. Prior to enlistment, Rourke worked as a farmer on his father s property, 'Cheshunt', near Singleton. He departed Sydney on 18 October 1914 aboard HMAT Suffolk and joined the preparations for the Gallipoli landing in Alexandria.

Rourke survived the landing only to suffer a shoulder wound in early May which was compounded by his contracting influenza whilst in hospital on Mudros Island. He was invalided to England in September and remained there until March 1916, when he re-joined his unit in France. By mid-1917, Rourke had been promoted to corporal but was suffering a shrapnel wound to the back and trench foot.

Whilst recovering, Rourke trained in musketry at the Lewis Gun School of Instruction in Tidworth. In October 1918 Rourke was promoted to sergeant, but was returned to Australia on special leave before the end of the war. Keith Rourke also served in the Second World War, listing his date of birth as 1891 in order to serve.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 18 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Collection Items

Private Record

Rourke, Keith (Sergeant, b.1891 - d.1970)

Collection relating to the First World War Service of 889 Sergeant Keith Rourke, 2nd Battalion, Australian Infantry Force. Collection consist of numerous letters and postcards written by Sgt Rourke to his mother and to his sister Nell, written between October 1914 and July 1918. Collection also... Maker: Rourke, Keith

PR04311 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Letters from Keith Rourke to his mother, and related correspondence to Mrs Rourke, 1914-1915

Letters relating to the First World War service of 889 Private Keith Rourke, 2nd Infantry Battalion,1914-1915. This file contains correspondence from Keith Rourke to his mother and other family members. These letters cover time spent training in Cairo, time spent at Gallipoli, including conditions,...

RCDIG0000142

Letters from Keith Rourke to his mother, and related correspondence to Mrs Rourke, 1916

Letters and correspondence relating to the First World War service of 889 Private Keith Rourke, 2nd Infantry Battalion,1916. This file contains letters from Keith Rourke to his mother, and other related correspondence to Mrs Rourke. These letters are written from Australian Base Depot in Weymouth...

RCDIG0000143

Letters from Keith Rourke to his mother, and related correspondence to Mrs Rourke, 1917-1918

Letters and postcards relating to First World War service of 889 Lance Corporal Keith Rourke, 1916. This file contains letters from Keith Rourke to his mother, and other related correspondence to Mrs Rourke. These letters cover time spent in France, describing the weather and conditions, and the...

RCDIG0000146

Postcards of Keith Rourke, 1914-1918

Postcards relating to the First World War service of 889 Sgt Keith Rourke. This file contains both blank and annotated postcards. File contains: Postcard from Keith Rourke to Nell [sister]; Autographed postcard, Egypt; Annotated postcard, Obelisk, Heliopolis; Annotated postcard, Flying at...

RCDIG0000147

Miscellaneous records of Keith Rourke, 1914-1918

Miscellanous records and ephemera relating to the First World War service of 889 Sergeant Keith Rourke, 2nd Infantry Battalion. File contains: Receipt, Ocean Beach Studio (No. 11) Receipt, Ocean Beach Studio (No. 12) Cablegram to Mrs Rourke Cablegram, 14 February 1916 Card with tie: To Berlin via...

RCDIG0000329

Timeline

Date of birth 1891-08-11
Date of embarkation 1914-10-18
Date of death 1970-12-29