On The Roll of Honour
William was born on 29th November 1893 in Badwell Ash. His father, Harry, was 29 and his mother, Levina, was 31.
In the 1901 Census: Age 7, William lived in The Shop in The Street, Badwell Ash with his father, Harry W Keen, aged 36 who was also a Grocer, Draper and the village Postmaster and with his mother, Levina, aged 35. Harry Keen, his father had been born in Ipswich. There were no siblings but also listed as living in the shop were Frank Lord, aged 17, an Apprentice Grocer, born in Great Ashfield and Lilley Black, aged 15 a Domestic Servant, born in Walsham le Willows. The fact that these latter two lived with the family would suggest that the business was successful.
In the 1911 Census: William, now aged 17, had clearly decided not to follow in his father’s footsteps in the grocery trade because he was living in Ipswich at 19, Bedford Street with his aunt, Jessy Mary Pratt, aged 45, and he worked as a Railway Clerk for Great Eastern Railways, presumably at Ipswich Station.
Military and War: There is no detail about when William signed up for the war but he clearly did because he became a Private in the 2nd Battalion of the 8th Essex Cycle Corps and then a 2nd Lieutenant in the Essex Regiment.
He may have returned to Ipswich after the war because it was there that he died in June 1974 (Suffolk June 1974 10-2541) at the age of 80.