Biography

Birth date: 1891
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Melbourne
Death date: 1964
Final rank: Private
Service number: 571 - First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 5th Australian Infantry Battalion

Albert William Keown was born in Brunswick, Melbourne in 1891. Prior to enlistment, he was an architectural apprentice at A.W. Purnell Architects, but postponed his apprenticeship to join the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). Keown joined the 5th Infantry Battalion on 17 August 1914 and departed Melbourne aboard HMAT Orvieto on 21 October 1914.

After spending four months training in Egypt, Keown was sent to Gallipoli with the 5th Infantry Battalion, landing as part of the second wave of attack on 25 April 1915. In May, during the 2nd Brigade's assault on Krithia, Keown suffered a shrapnel wound that badly affected his hand and chest. On 18 May he was admitted to St Andrews Hospital in Malta, and evacuated to England before being forced to return to Australia on 19 November 1915. After being discharged from the AIF on 25 May 1916, Keown quickly re-enlisted and worked as a temporary staff sergeant major at an Officer Training School at Port Melbourne and later as a District Area Officer for St. Kilda.
In 1920, Keown finished his military service and returned to finish his articles at A.W. Purnell Architects.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Private
  • Date of embarkation: 21 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Photograph

P00702.001

Cairo, Egypt. December 1914. Bert Keown (left) and Les Walker (right) are first in line of F Company 5th Battalion AIF as they wait for vaccination at Mena camp. (Donor B. J. & V. Cardiff)

P00702.001

Private Record

Keown, Albert William (Private, b.? - d.1964)

Collection relating to the First World War service of 571 Private Albert William Keown, 5 Battalion. Collection consists of a letter describing the landing at Anzac, and details of his experiences during the advance of the Australian 2nd Infantry Brigade at Cape Helles in May, where Keown was... Maker: Keown, Albert William

PR85/139 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Letter from Albert William Keown to Rene, 1915

Letter relating to the First World War service of 571 Private Albert William Keown, 5th Battalion. The letter was sent by Albert William Keown to Rene, St. Andrews Military Hospital, Sliema, Malta, on 26 May 1915. In the letter Private Keown describes the landing at Anzac and details of his...

RCDIG0000336

Typed transcript of letter from Albert William Keown to Rene, 26 May 1915

Typed transcript of a letter relating to the First World War service of Private Albert William Keown, 5th Battalion. The original letter was sent by Albert William Keown to Rene, St. Andrews Military Hospital, Sliema, Malta, on 26 May 1915. The maker of the copy is unknown.

RCDIG0000337

Timeline

Date of birth 1891
Date of embarkation 1914-10-21
Date of death 1964