71081 Geoffrey Charles Tasker KEYES, VC, MC, Royal Scots Greys, 11 Commando, Layforce

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    Personal Number: 71081
    Rank: Lieutenant-Colonel
    Name: Geoffrey Charles Tasker KEYES, MC, VC
    Unit: Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons), 11 Commando Layforce


    London Gazette : 19 June 1942
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35600/supplement/2699/data.pdf
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to the undermentioned officer:—
    Major (temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) Geoffrey Charles Tasker Keyes, M.C. (71081), The Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons), Royal Armoured Corps (Buckingham).
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
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    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
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    Recommendation for Award for Keyes, Geoffrey Charles Tasker Rank: Major ... | The National Archives
    Reference: WO 373/19/153
    Name Keyes, Geoffrey Charles Tasker
    Rank: Major
    Regiment: Middle East Commandos
    Theatre of Combat or Operation: Middle East (Egypt and Libya)
    Award: Victoria Cross
    Date of announcement in London Gazette: 19 June 1942


    London Gazette : 19 June 1942
    https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/35600/supplement/2699/data.pdf
    The KING has been graciously pleased to approve the posthumous award of the VICTORIA CROSS to the undermentioned officer:—
    Major (temporary Lieutenant-Colonel) Geoffrey Charles Tasker Keyes, M.C. (71081), The Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons), Royal Armoured Corps (Buckingham).

    Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes commanded a detach- ment of a force .which landed some 250 miles behind the enemy lines to attack Headquarters, Base Installations and Communications.

    From the outset Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes deliberately selected for himself the command of the detachment detailed to attack what was un- doubtedly the most hazardous of these objectives —the residence and Headquarters of the General Officer Commanding the German forces in North Africa. This attack, even if initially successful, meant almost certain death for those who took part in it.

    He led his detachment without guides, in dangerous and precipitous country and in pitch darkness, and maintained by his stolid determination and powers of leadership the morale of the detachment. He then found himself forced to modify his original plans in the light of fresh information elicited from neighbouring Arabs, and was left with only one officer and an N.C.O. with whom to break into General Rommel's residence and deal with the guards and Headquarters Staff.

    At zero hour on the night of 17th-18th November, 1941, having despatched the covering party to block the approaches to the house, he himself with the two others crawled forward past the guards, through the surrounding fence and so up to the house itself. Without hesitation, he boldly led his party up to the front door, beat on the door and demanded entrance.

    Unfortunately, when the door was opened, it .was found impossihjl'e 'to overcome the sentry silently, and it was necessary to shoot him. The noise of the shot naturally aroused the inmates of the house and Lieutenants-Colonel Keyes, appreciating that speed was now of the utmost importance, posted the N.C.O. at the foot of the stairs to prevent interference from the floor above.

    Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes, who instinctively took the lead, emptied his revolver with great success into the first room and was followed by the other officer who threw a grenade.

    Lieutenant-Colonel Keyes with great daring then entered the second room on the ground floor but was shot almost immediately on flinging open the door and fell back into, the passage mortally wounded. On being carried outside by his companions he died within a few minutes.

    By his fearless disregard of the great 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.
     
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    Casualty
    Lieutenant Colonel KEYES, 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
    Buried at BENGHAZI WAR CEMETERY
    Location: Libya
    Number of casualties: 1063
    Cemetery/memorial reference: 7. D. 5.
    See cemetery plan


    LTC Geoffrey Charles Tasker Keyes (1917-1941) -...
    Keyes, VC.png
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2020
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    His father:
    Casualty
    Admiral of the Fleet KEYES, ROGER JOHN BROWNLOW
    Died 26/12/1945
    Aged 73
    Royal Navy
    G C B, K C V O, C M G, D S O
    Grand Cross of the Order of Leopold, Grand Officer Legion of Honour, Croix de Guerre (France and Belgium), D.S.M. (U.S.A.). 1st Baron Keyes of Zeebrugge and Dover. Son of General Sir Charles Patton Keyes, G.C.B., and of Lady Keyes (nee Norman); husband of Lady Keyes (nee Bowlby), of Tingewick, Buckinghamshire. Commanded operations against Zeebrugge and Ostend, April 1918; Deputy Chief of Naval Staff 1921-25; C.-in-C. Mediterranean 1925-28, Portsmouth 1929-31; Director of Combined Operations 1940-41; A.D.C. to H.M. King George V, 1914. D.C.L., LL.D.; M.P. for Portsmouth (North) Division, 1934-1943.
    His son, Lt.-Col. Geoffrey Charles Tasker Keyes, V.C., M.C., Croix de Guerre, also died on service.
    INSCRIPTION: COMMANDER IN CHIEF DOVER PATROL 1918
    Buried at DOVER (ST. JAMES'S) CEMETERY
    Location: Kent, United Kingdom
    Number of casualties: 733
    Cemetery/memorial reference: Sec. P.W. 1914-21. Zeebrugge Plot. Grave 68.
    See cemetery plan
     

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