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.

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Rolls and Awards

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

Collection Items

Digitised Collection

Timeline

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