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Daniel was born in Preston in 1890 the son of Paul and Catherine Keevill (nee Brown). Daniel`s father was originally from Chippenham in Wiltshire and was a Cooper by trade, his mother was from Blackpool. They were married in Preston in 1889. Daniel was a twin but unfortunately his twin brother Robert died in 1891. There were three other siblings namely Frank (1891), Annie (1892) and Albert (1899-1899).

In 1901 Daniel and his brother Frank were living at the Harris Orphanage in Preston and described as `orphans`. However, this was not strictly true because their parents were both still alive, Paul Keevill was a patient in the Ribchester Workhouse Hospital and the rather unpleasant terminology of the time describes him as an `imbecile`. At the same time Catherine was living at 38 Lovat Road in Preston with daughter Annie and was working from home as a machinist. The enumerator recorded her marital status as a widow.

Ten years on in the 1911 Census both Daniel and his brother Frank had been reunited with their mother Catherine and sister Annie. They were all living at 7 Albert Road, Preston. Catherine was working as a dressmaker and confirmed she was married. Daniel and Frank were employed as iron founders and sister Annie was a gold wire drawer. There was another lady lodging with the family and she was Alice S. Sharples aged 64, she was unmarried and described as living on `private means`.

In the same Census Daniel`s father Paul was still resident in the Ribchester Workhouse but was now being described as an `inmate` and again the word `imbecile` is used in relation to his condition.

Unfortunately Daniel`s service papers do not appear to have survived but according to the newspaper article he enlisted in May 1915. He was allocated the service number 21009.

On the 14 November, 1915 Daniel left England for the Dardanelles to join the 6th Battalion. The Battalion had landed at Anzac Cove some three months earlier. By late December the 6th Battalion had been withdrawn to Egypt and were for a short time involved in canal defence work at Port Said. They were then ordered to Mesopotamia sailing on the `Corsican` on 13 February, 1916.

Daniel was posted missing on 9th April 1916 and the following notice appeared in the Preston Guardian a short while later.


Daniel`s mother would eventually have been notified by the Military Authorities that her son was deemed to have officially died on 9 April, 1916.

Private Daniel Keevill was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals. He is remembered with honour on the Basra Memorial. His name is also recorded on the Harris School Orphanage WW1 Memorial which is located in front of the old Harris Orphanage Building where Daniel and his brother Frank lived for a while.



The inscription reads: – “In loving memory of the old boys of the Harris Orphanage who fell in the Great War 1914-1918. They died the death of honour for God, King and Country”
Erected by their orphan companions.

Rank: Private
Service No: 21009
Date of Death: 09/04/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 6th Bn.

Janet Davis
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2 Responses to 21009 PTE. D. KEEVILL. L.N.LAN.R

  1. David Hilton says:

    Thank you for your post about Daniel Keevill. Daniel was my wife’s uncle. Her grandmother was Annie who you mention in your piece. I’m writing a family history and hadn’t come across the newspaper article, although I do have the original of the picture that was used, and a picture of Daniel and his brother Frank on a group photograph of the workers at Dryden’s foundry. I also have a copy of the “Preston’s Roll of Honour” card submitted by Annie so that Daniel appears in the Harris Museum, but there’s only minimal information on that.

  2. Janet Davis says:

    Hello David, many thanks for your comments. You are more than welcome to submit any additional copies of photos of Daniel that you have, they can always be added to his page. Kind regards Janet

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