John Keeble Sapper 2SAS

Black Hawk Down
By Mark Bowden
Merrill's Marauders
By Gavin Mortimer

kop2527

New Member
'Jack' as he was known was actually 20yrs when he died. He had lied about his age to join up. His two elder brothers were also killed in the 2nd War
 

geronimo

Member
hi

I have set up a research site on facebook for tracing info on the sas during world war two. hope you join so we can help others find out info about their relatives

special air service research world war 2
 

RodgeDowson

New Member
Originally posted by geronimo
hi

I have set up a research site on facebook for tracing info on the sas during world war two. hope you join so we can help others find out info about their relatives

special air service research world war 2
What is the name of the group on F/B as I can't find it, thanks?
Rodge
 

kop2527

New Member
Have recently found out Jack was killed in Operation Keystone as a result of 'friendly fire'. He and 16 colleagues had been dropped in the Netherlands and a group of Dutch resistance thought they were Germans. A fire fight ensued and Jack and one of the Dutchmen lost their lives
 

tim4848

Member
Nominal Roll of personnel engaged on the Operation.
---------------------------------------------------



Recce party dropped 3rd April 45:-


Capt. P.N. Stuart.
Lieut. De Stoppelaar (Dutch)
Pct. Herring-Sweet F.




Main party dropped on the night 11/12th Apr 45:-



Capt. R.J. Holland M.C.
C.S.M.I. Ellis W.
Sgt. Van Beek J.
L/Cpl. Searle N.
Spr. Keeble J.
Spr. Edwards A.
Pte. Hawes E.
Pte. Green J.
Pte. Batchelor E.


Lieut. J. Wardley.
L/Cpl. Walsh S.
Sgt. Snatager J.
Sgt. Kuypere A.
Pte. Tyson M.
Pte. Craig F.
Pte. Silvey J.
Pte. Every T.



Jeeping party with Major Druce:-


Major H.C. Druce. )
Cpl. Jupp ) Troop H.Q.
Cpl. Sumnall )
Pct. Hunt )

No.1 Section.
------------
S.S.M. Mitchell. Sgt. Laybourne. L/Cpl. Drakes.
Pct. Moody. Pct. Morrison. Pct. Smithson.
Sgt. Nieuwhof. Pct. Herbert. Pct. Burne.

No.2 Section.
------------

Lieut. Boyd. Sgt. Young. Cpl. Bird.
Pct. Lees. Pct. Maybury. Pct. Stringfellow.
Sgt. Doyen. Pct. Manders. Pct. Nicols.

No.3 Section.
------------
Lieut. Swayne. Sgt. Macdonald. Sgt. Peer
Pct. Salthouse. Pct. Frost. Pct. Wooldridge.
Pct. Winters. Pct. Lelierve. Pct. Galmard.
Pct. Mace.
 

tim4848

Member
O P E R A T I O N K E Y S T O N E
-----------------------------------


Report by Capt. R.J. HOLLAND, M.C.
----------------------------------


11/12th April
-------------

The DZ at Z 518038 was marked with white lights but as the
pilot had been briefed to look for a system of coloured lights, which
was the method adopted by S.F., there was a slight hesitation while
the pilot asked me whether I wished to jump.

We dropped at 00.15 hrs, a little wide of the DZ. Four
kitbag ropes broke on the way down, including my own (I suggest stouter
ropes be used in future). Otherwise the drop was successful and the
reception was good.

We were taken to a barn at Z 519040 where we laid up for the
night.


12th April
----------

I saw Pete von Arnhem's Chief of Staff and discussed local
intelligence. I ascertained the area was suitable for jeeping and
sent a message for Capt. Smith to follow. I heard there might be a
drop that night. I then made arrangements to receive Capt. Smith and
jeeps and acquired a horse to assist in the event of the jeeps getting
ditched. The drop was not confirmed and the reception party dispersed.


At night I sent out three parties:-

(1) Lieut. Stuart with four men to recce the Putten-Voorthuison rd.
(2) Lieut. Wardley with his stick to the Putten - Nijkerk road,
where he dealt with a motor vehicle at Z 4907.
(3) S.M. Ellis with his stick to Z 575030 on the
Voorthuizen - Apeldoorn road.



13 April
--------

I spent the day receiving news and information from the local
Resistance party.

At night I took a party to the Putten - Voorthuizen road. Tyre
bursters were laid but a staff car which hit one proceeded on its way,
firing blind. We fired back.

S.M. Ellis and his party brewed up the last truck of a convoy
of five vehicles proceeding in a westerly direction on the Apeldoorn -
Amersfoort road (area Z 5802). The final result was not observed as
there were many Germans in the area.

Sgt. Van Beek took a party and laid a charge on the railway
line at Z 4907. On their way back they captured a German but after
threatening and interrogating him they sent him off.

Lieut. Wardley took his party to Z 5008 and had some shooting.
On the way back they placed a charge on the railway line.

Lieut. Stuart did not achieve anything with the party he took
out.



14 April
--------

Nothing of interest occurred during the day.

At night I took a party to the Putten - Voorthuizen road and
placed tyrebursters on the road at Z 546042. Several cars passed over
them but nothing happened. One tyreburster was dud; well encased in
plastic it was squashed flat by a huge supply vehicle and trailer.

S.M. Ellis's party, which had accompanied us to the road, went
to operate in the area Z 5806 but ran into a group of suspicious
characters at Z 540036 and after a short sharp exchange of fire
retired. We learnt later it was a Resistance party which should not
have been in the area.

Lieut. Wardley, Sgt. Kuypers and Cpl. Walsh, went North to the
Nijkerk - Amersfoort railway. They ran into trouble and were chased
all the next day.


15 April
--------

As I had not achieved anything during the night I took a party
in daylight to Z 546042. On the way I found Pct. Keeble unconscious
at Z 5436 where S.M. Ellis had had an exchange of fire with a
Resistance party. I told a Dutch civilian to report it and heard
later that he was taken by the Germans and died on the way to hospital.

While I was away, Lieut. Stuart caused me some annoyance by
sending a coded message about the food situation. However, I was able
to add to the message before it was despatched.

I waited until Lieut. Wardley's party arrived and then moved
camp to another barn at Z 505054.

By this time Pete von Arnhem had organised at my request
three groups of Resistance parties in the south-east. One was
operating in the Ede - Apeldoorn road, another on the subsidiary roads
to Arnhem, and the third on the Apeldoorn - Arnhem road. I received
no details of the damage they inflicted or the composition of the
parties, but I was satisfied they were carrying out their tasks.

That night I took Pct. Hawe and Pct. Silvey with one guide to
the Putten - Nijkerk road area. The main traffic was along this road
while the Zwolle - Nijkerk - Amersfoort line was also being used. While
we were preparing to lay our charges on the road at Z 526086 we were
challenged by two sentries at about three yards range. I fired
immediately at the spot I thought them to be. They did not reply but
it was too dark to see what happened to them.


S.M. Ellis, Sgt. Van Beek, Cpl. Searle and Pct. Edwards,
attacked the Putten - Nijkerk railway line. They laid charges and
time pencils at Z 509079 and both tracks were cut. This line was being
used quite a lot by the Germans and was evidently important as Lieut.
Wardley later saw them repairing it.


Lieut. Wardley, Lieut. Stuart and Pct. Tyson opened fire on a
goods train on this line at Z 486067 previous to S.M. Ellis's attack.


16 April
--------

I led the whole party in daylight to a fork road at Z 483034 as
Germans were reputed to be in that vicinity. We surprised and captured
8 Germans who were sitting alongside trucks in a farmyard having lunch,
and about 30 others in a neighbouring farm were put to flight. I kept
one of the prisoners to help us start the trucks while the other seven
were marched back to our base. Unfortunately Pct. Hawe and the escort
which was taking the prisoners back to base encountered a German patrol
and to avoid being captured had to leave the prisoners. Nevertheless
we had achieved our object of causing a disturbance to the enemy and we
retired with our one prisoner to the barn at Z 505054.

That night myself, Sgt. Van Beek, Pct. Edwards and Pct. Hawe
went to lay an ambush on the Putten - Nijkerk road. We ran into a
number of German cyclists at Z 520085 who had apparently lost their way
(I had switched the German signposts at this spot when returning from
our operation the night before). The road was attacked with carbines
and stens and the enemy reacted strongly, continuing to fire long after
the party was back in camp.

The Canadians at this time were reported to be at Barneveld,
Z 528958.


17 April
--------

I sent S.M. Ellis, Sgt. Van Beek and Cpl. Searle to the
Putten - Voorthuizen road and at pt Z 523057 they stopped two German
cyclists. They were medical officers hurrying to attend wounded at
Nijkerk, Z 4605. After grilling they were allowed to proceed. The
SAS party were spotted on their way back by a German patrol of ten men
and had to shoot their way through.

Lieut. Wardley, Lieut. Stuart and 2 O.Rs. were sent to recce
the area of Z 4804. After they had returned Pct. Tyson was accidentally
killed by one of our party while weapons were being cleaned.

The Resistance party brought in four prisoners. Cpl. Searle
had brought in 2 earlier in the day so that together with a driver we
had captured the day before, we now held 7.

At 14.00 hrs I sent a signal to the U.K. giving our position
and asking for help from the Canadians to block the Putten - Nijkerk
road, A reply was received to the effect that my message had been
forwarded to the Canadians.

I did not intend operating that night until midnight, but at
23.00 hrs we were shelled. Pct. Edwards who was on sentry duty was
killed by the first shell. Our position was good and had adequate
cover nearby so I decided to remain as I thought it was to be only
temporary harassing fire. However, the shelling continued to be
consistently near and Lieut. Wardley evacuated his stick into the woods.
The map indicates the barn on the wrong side of the road and the majority
of the shells fell 20 yards East where the barn was marked on the map.


18 April
--------

A Resistance man had been injured during the night by the
shelling so I went to Voorthuizen, Z 545010, where I hoped to contact
the Canadians and obtain medical help for the wounded man. On my return
I found Major Druce had arrived with his party. We discussed an
operation for that night but decided my men were tired after the shelling
the previous night and the week's operations.

Major Druce took a party of Resistance men with his own party
to the Nijkerk - Ermele road but had no success.


19 April
--------

I contacted the Canadians at Barneveld, then Major Druce and I
took our parties to Nijmegen, E 7060, and met Major Hibbert with his
party.

After two nights I brought Cpl. Searle and Pct. Hawe by a
three-ton lorry to Brussels where we eventually flew to Croydon
aerodrome on the 24th April.
 
Hi,

Very interested in this thread. Where did you find the 'friendly fire' reference?

As posted Captain Holland?s post-operation report states: ?On the way I found Pct Keeble unconscious at Z5436 where SM Ellis had had an exchange of fire with a Resistance party. I told a Dutch civilian to report it and heard later that he was taken by the Germans and died on the way to hospital.?
Meanwhile, WO 218/216 contains a message from Keystone dated 15/04/45 states: ?One casualty Keebles (sic) bad head injury ? Keebles left at Napier tell Canadians.?

Would be good to get this nailed down,

Skip
 

tim4848

Member
http://www.echodelta.net/mbs/eng-translator.php

go to the above website

select the Nord de Guerre Grid

and type in

qZ5436

and select convert

the page that then appears shows the corresponding Latitude/Longitude and it now also automatically shows a Google map. Select the Satellite button and you can see the location relating to the coordinate Z5436 stated in the report. I must point out though, that this translator is slightly different to if you have an original War map but only by less than 50 metres (or so I found when mapping Operation Pistol)

Don't always use q at the beginning, if you look at the Nord de Guerre map, these initial letters vary
 

fibee1969

New Member
John Keeble, known as Jack was my uncle. His sisters my mother and aunt are still alive and I would love to find out more about him and his time in 2SAS. My mother is now 83 and a bit more and this year we are hoping to take her to the Cenotaph as she lost all three brothers in WW2, and to this day she misses them. If you have any more information on Uncle Jack or any pictures I would love to see them and report back to my mum and aunt.

We are very proud of the boys as they are known and my father was also in WW2 and he served in the Fleet Air Arm.

Fiona Duncan
 

kop2527

New Member
Just wish to place my thanks to TARTAN23 on the message board for the info and photos he has passed on to me via the message system re Jack and the David Stirling memorial at Doune

kop
 

kop2527

New Member
Long time since I've been on but now believe Jack was born in 1925 (do not have full date) and was 20 when he was killed. His two remaining sisters have recently died within 10 days of each other
 

galcock

Member
John Keeble was on Operation Pistol, which ran from 15th September to roughly the 1st October. He was not in my father's aircraft however as four short Stirlings flew out that night. I am going to Alsace this Easter. Graham Alcock
 

TomPC

New Member
http://www.echodelta.net/mbs/eng-translator.php

go to the above website

select the Nord de Guerre Grid

and type in

qZ5436

and select convert

the page that then appears shows the corresponding Latitude/Longitude and it now also automatically shows a Google map. Select the Satellite button and you can see the location relating to the coordinate Z5436 stated in the report. I must point out though, that this translator is slightly different to if you have an original War map but only by less than 50 metres (or so I found when mapping Operation Pistol)

Don't always use q at the beginning, if you look at the Nord de Guerre map, these initial letters vary

A big thank you to Tim for this (ancient) post - this is one of the most useful things I've found on the internet! I've been on the phone to OS, Maps Worldwide and Stanfords trying to work out how to convert single-letter-six-digit WW2 grid references on maps of France into longs and lats. Thank you!!
 

Craig Robertson

Administrator
Staff member
I have managed to confirm Uncle Jacks DoB as 27th October 1923 (Have a copy of his birth certificate). He was 22 when he died.
Thanks for confirmation of date of birth, matches The SAS & LRDG Roll of Honour entry for him.
27-Oct-1923 to 15-Apr-1945 he should be 21.
Have amended his record.
Best regards, Craig
 
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