Click for Site Directory
Officer 136647 Ernest Keeley
He was born on 1st October 1908 , in
, Eastham, Ellsmere Port . In the 1911 census he was living at a four roomed house, 21 Livingstone Cheshire
Road, Ellesmere Port Cheshire with his parents, Wiiliam and Sarah Louise Keeley. His father was a Purifier at a Flour Mills, his mother had no
listed occupation. His parents had been married for 6 years and had 3 children all of whom were alive. He had an older brother Robert (born
1906) and a younger brother Thomas (born 1910). Later he had a sister Mabel Keeley (born 1914) and a brother Arthur Keeley(1916).
Ernest attended Calday Grange Grammar School, West Kirby, between 1921 and 1924.
His brother Arthur became a professional football player in 1936.
On enlistment Ernest's next of kin was given as Mrs. I. Keeley, 8 Glenwood Gardens, Little Sutton, Wirral, Cheshire. His father was
29 Livingston Road, Elsmere Port.
He married Isabella Mergatroyd, a spinster, on 16 November 1935 in Elsmere Port. He enlisted on
3rd July, 1940. His civil occupation was
Insurance Agent for the Cooperative Insurance Society in
between 1935 and 1940. On entry, he was 6’ ½” tall with a 34” chest, Chester
dark hair, brown eyes, medium complexion. He had a vaccination scar on his left arm and a cartilage scar on his right leg.
On entry, he attended No. 3 Receiving Centre at Padgate. From there, he was put into the Reserve on
the 9th July, 1940. From the
Reserve to 18 Balloon Centre, Bishopbriggs, Glasgow. He was given the service number 1058259.
Makeup of No. 18 Balloon Centre, Bishopbriggs,
929 24 balloons
945 40 balloons
946 48 balloon Renfrew
947 32 balloons
948 24 balloons Rosyth
967 48 balloons Ardrossan
968 40 balloons Forming at Bishopbriggs:
No. 968 Balloon Barrage Squadron moved to Belfast on 12 September 1940. He was now Acting Charge Hand/Balloon Operator 1058259
23rd Sept, 1940, he was posted to 947 Squadron as a Balloon Operator. On 4 March, 1941, he was admitted to Lothian General
Hospital, . Later transferred to Southern Glasgow , on General Hospital 3 April, 1941. On discharge from hospital he had become a Balloon
Operator and Driver.
31st December, 1940, his rank was Aircraftman 2nd Class. His character was very good, and his trade was Balloon Operator Charge
Hand. His proficiency was classed as Satisfactory A
4th February 1941, he was promoted to Aircraftman 1st Class.
7 June, 1941, he was back at 18 Balloon Centre, Glasgow, A Flight. He was then posted to 947 Squadron, then back to 18 Balloon
Centre A Flight on
5 July, 1941. He was posted to 947 Squadron and was posted to 945 Squadron on 1 August, 1942.
1st August, 1941, he was promoted to a Leading Aircraftman.
30th October 1941, he was promoted to a Temporary Corporal.
31st December, 1941his rank was Temporary Corporal. His character was very good, and his trade was Balloon Operator (D).
His proficiency was classed as: A
, B Satisfactory, C Satisfactory. Superior
30th September 1942, he underwent a medical board, achieving A4B classification, and was declared fit for command into a branch of the Royal Air Force
Volunteers as an officer.
31st December 1942, his rank was Temporary Corporal. His character was very good, and his trade was Balloon Operator (D). His proficiency was classed as A Superior, B Superior.
6th January, 1943, he was discharged on appointment to a temporary commission, having served 2 years, 183 days.
He attended No 1
, Cosford, on Officers School 7 Jan, 1943. From there he attended No. 15 Board of Trade Testing, achieving physical
fitness to become a Flying Officer.
10th February 1943, he was in No 61 Maintenance Unit based at Handsforth, Wilmslow.
On 2nd March 1943 he was gazetted as having been granted a commission as an Acting Pilot Officer bfor the duration of the emergency
from 7th January 1943.
In a supplement to the London Gazette dated
16th April, 1943, he is listed to have now graded as Pilot Officer on Probation (Emergency).
He was Pilot Officer 136647 Ernest Keeley. On
7th Sept 1943, in supplement to the London Gazette, on page 4140, said he was promoted
to Flying Officer on Probation (War Substitute).
18th February 1944, he was posted to Upwood, Cambridgeshire - still with the rank of Flying Officer.
His brother who had been such a gifted footballer had enlisted and was 2nd Lieutenant Arthur Keeley,Royal Sussex Regiment,
attached to 7th Bn. Somerset Light Infantry was killed in action on 10th August 1944 in Normandy, France. He had always been tipped as
one of those footballers who would be much sought after once the war was over.
30th October 1945, Ernest was admitted to in Ely Hospital , for 10 days, and classified as A4B on discharge from Hospital. Cambridge
His last day of service was
2 May, 1946.
On 30th July 1954 he was gazetted as having relinquished his commission but retained the rank of Flying Officer.
Flying Officer Arthur Keeley died on 24th May 1974 at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, England
Click for Site Directory