Lieutenant ColonelKEYES, GEOFFREY CHARLES TASKER

Service Number 71081

Died 18/11/1941

Aged 24

Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons)
Royal Armoured Corps

and No. 11 (Scottish)
Commando

V C, M C

Awarded Croix de Guerre. Son of Admiral of the Fleet Roger John Brownlow Keyes, G.C.B., K.C.V.O., C.M:G., D.S.O., A.D.C., 1st Baron Keyes, and of Lady Keyes (nee Bowlby), of Buckingham.

Inscription

KILLED LEADING THE RAID ON GENERAL ROMMEL'S H.Q. SIDI RAFA. SON OF ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET THE LORD KEYES

Citation

The citation in the London Gazette of the 19th June, 1942, gives the following details

Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes commanded a detachment of a force which landed some 250 miles behind the enemy lines, in North Africa, to attack Headquarters Base installations and communications. Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes deliberately selected the command of the party detailed to attack the residence and Headquarters of the General Officer commanding the German Forces in North Africa. This attack meant almost certain death for those who took part in it. The disposition of his detachment left him only one officer and a N.C.O. with whom to break into General Rommel's residence. On the night 17/18 November, 1941, he boldly led his party to the front door and demanded entrance. It was unfortunately necessary to shoot the sentry; the noise aroused the house, so that speed became of the first importance. Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes instinctively took the lead and emptied his revolver with great success into the first room. He then entered the second room but was mortally wounded almost immediately. By his fearless disregard of the dangers which he ran and of which he was fully aware, and by his magnificent leadership and outstanding gallantry Lieutenant Colonel Keyes set an example of supreme self-sacrifice and devotion to duty.

Buried at BENGHAZI WAR CEMETERY

Location: Libya
Number of casualties: 1063

Cemetery/memorial reference: 7. D. 5.

See cemetery plan
Cemetery details

CWGC Archives

DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.
Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.
DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.
Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.
DISCLAIMER:
This collection of documents was assembled by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and its predecessors as part of the processes involved in the commemoration of individuals. As a result, they contain many corrections and alterations which reflect their use as working documents. For further information concerning the history of the collection, please see our About Our Records page.
Please be advised that some of the documents, especially the burial returns and exhumation reports, may contain information which some people may find distressing. The original archive records and their digital copies remain the property of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, but are available for re-use for private and non-commercial purposes.