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One of our followers on Facebook contacted us with information on her great-uncle. This is his story.


John James Keay was the son of John Keay and Florence Preece, from Bilston. He was born in St. Leonards, Bilston in 1893. In 1911, the family lived at No 2 Back Of 18 Broad Street, Bilston.

He joined up with the 7th Battalion of the Kings Shropshire Light Infantry (number 17049). The 7th K.S.L.I. took part in an attack on Bazentin Ridge on 14 July 1916. The Battalion advanced at 3.20 a.m. from a sunken Road in No Man’s Land,and there were a few casualties from the preliminary bombardment. The Battalion than ran into uncut wire in front of the German front line. The remnants of the Battalion fell back to a sunken road 200 yards from the German line, leaving many wounded behind including Colonel Negus. They attacked again at 11 a.m., and with the help of bombing parties from units on the flanks and captured their objectives. John James Keay died on 18 July 1916. He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial in France and and on the Bilston Town Hall War Roll of Honour.

The lady who contacted us would dearly love a photograph of her great-uncle, so if anyone can oblige or suggest a possible source, it would be great to hear from you!