The Soldier's Details

Surname:
Keay
First Name:
Vivian Albert
Nick Name:
Viv
Rank:
Warrant Officer II (Promoted on 7.2.1942)
Regimental #:
WX8431
Classification:
Clerk
Company:
'E' Company Headquarters, Special Reserve Battalion
Enlisted:
18.10.1940
DOB:
13.06.1905
Place of Birth:
Glenshee, Scotland
Father's Name:
John Alexander Keay
Mothers's Name:
Christine Keay (nee Loder)
Religion:
Presbyterian
Pre-war Occupation:
Clerk
Memorial:
Epitaph, Labuan Memorial, Panel 18, Age 39.
Singapore:
Selarang Camp Changi, A.G.H.Roberts Barracks, Changi (dengue fever)
Force:
'B' Force Borneo
POW#:
258
Cause of Death:
Malaria
Place of Death:
Sandakan No1 Camp
Date of Death:
10.05.1945

General Description

Vivian Keays parents Scottish born John Alexander Keay and Christina Loder married Nov 1895 Middlesex England.  The couple returned to John’s home in Scotland where they had a family of 9 children – one daughter and eight sons.

The Keay family  moved to WA from England in about 1911, when Viv was about 6 years old.  They settled in Katanning.  Vivian’s name is mentioned in early school years.

He later left Katanning and sought work in Perth.  In 1928 he is residing in North Perth and working as a clerk.

Viv has an active interest and was a talented dancer.

 

In 1929 his mother died whilst his father was away visiting Scotland.

 

 

In 1931 Viv and Kathleen Goodman announce their engagement.

The couple marry in 1938.

 

 

An older brother Kenneth Keay who is married with at least one child dies quite young in 1940.

 

Below:  Viv’s father John died 1942 in Scotland, at that time Viv is reported missing.

 

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Keay only

 

Keay

 

 

Keay V A

 

KEAY, Warrant Officer Class II, VIVIAN ALBERT, WX8431, A.I.F. 2/4 M.G. Bn., Australian Infantry. 10 May 1945. Age 39. Son of John and Christine Keay; husband of Kathleen Ellen Keay, of Highgate, Western Australia. Panel 18.

Labuan Memorial,
Malaysia

Keay was one of the fortunate men of ‘E’ Company to survive the Japanese ambush at South West Bukit Timah on 11 February 1942.  He had been earlier transferred from another Company to form ‘E’ Coy which was formed with mostly little trained reinforcements picked up at Fremantle mid January.  The ambush resulted in too many deaths including many experienced officers.

Fate dealt him a unfair blow when he was selected at Singapore with ‘B’ Force to work in Borneo.  He died at Sandakan No. 1 Camp of malaria on 10 May 1945 aged 39 years.  His remains were located at Sandakan No.2 Camp.

Please read further about B and E Forces Borneo.

Also please see Map of Sandakan-Ranau and photos of all West Australians who perished.

Kathleen Keay remarried about 1947.

Camp Locations:

  • Roberts Barracks Changi - Singapore
  • Selarang Camp Changi - Singapore
  • Sandakan - Borneo ***
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