Names on Park Walk War Memorial 2

Bertram Keast

Surname: Keast
Other names: Bertram
Other people in this story:
Samuel John Keast
Emily Keast
Kate Keast née Taylor
Locations in this story:
Shaftesbury Grammar School, Shaftesbury, Dorset
France & Flanders
Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium
Bell Street, Shaftesbury
Holy Trinity Church, Shaftesbury
St. Peter's Church, Shaftesbury
Essen, Germany
London
Dorchester
Paschendaele, Flanders

Story:
Bertram Keast was born in 1889 in Shaftesbury. He was the son of Samuel John Keast, a law clerk, and Emily Keast. He attended Shaftesbury Grammar School from September 1899 to July 1906. After leaving school he became a schoolmaster and then entered a solicitor's office, first in London and later in Dorchester. At the time of the 1911 Census, he was single and living in the family home at 7 Bell Street, Shaftesbury. In 1914 he married Kate Taylor and they had one child, a son. He enlisted as a Private in the Devonshire Regiment (Service No. 31066) and he served in France and Flanders.

Official records show that Bertram died on October 26th 1917 although this may be the day on which he was reported missing. The Shaftesbury Grammar School magazine gives some details: "Bertram Keast was shot in the left arm on the Paschendale front, on October 26th, 1917, and taken prisoner." According to this account he was transported to Germany and died there on November 5th. He was buried in the civilian churchyard at Essen.

Bertram was awarded the Victory and British War medals and his name appears on the Tyne Cot Memorial (Panel 38 to 40). He is remembered on the Park Walk War Memorial, on the Holy Trinity Memorial, now in St. Peter's Church and on the Shaftesbury Grammar School memorial in Shaftesbury School. His widow Kate remarried in 1926.

The June 1917 edition of the Shaftesbury Grammar School magazine mentions a donation by Bertram's father: "A framed list of the names of over 160 boys on active service, now adorns our Schoolroom wall. It was written by Mr. S.J. Keast, and presented by him to the School. We offer him our grateful thanks for his most artistic production, which is one more proof of the great interest he always takes in all that concerns the School." In Gold Hill Museum there is a hand written list of Shaftesbury Grammar School old boys who served in the forces, updated throughout the war, but it is not known if this is the work of Mr. Keast. Bertram's name was included and an asterix can be seen next to his name, indicating that he had died.

Printed Source:
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, March 1919
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, June 1917

Images:
  • Park Walk War Memorial 1
  • Holy Trinity Memorial in St. Peter's Church 3
  • Holy Trinity Memorial in St. Peter's Church 2
  • Holy Trinity Memorial in St. Peter's Church 1
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School War Memorial
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 1
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 4

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives
Shastonian