Keatinge, John Charles Fitzgerald

He was the only son of Gerald FitzMaurice Keatinge MD, of 57 Friar Gate, Codnor, Derbyshire, and later of Waingroves Hall, Codnor. His mother was Margaret Evelyn Keatinge, the daughter of Walter Piper, of Derby.

He came from Mr. O.E.P. Wyatt’s school at Maidwell Hall, Northampton, into Mr. F.W. Goddard’s House in May 1937, where he had a distinguished career. He was Senior Commoner Prefect, won the German Prize, and, though he never took up his place, obtained a Minor Scholarship for Modern Languages at King’s College, Cambridge. He was high up in Sixth Book, and CSM in the JTC. In 1941 he was in Commoner XV and also in 2nd XI soccer. In 1940, with J.A.C. Latham, he won Wigrams for his house. In 1939 he was the best batsman in Toye Cup and was awarded Paget Bat. In 1940 he was in Lords, but for some reason he met with little success in 1941 and did not play at Eton. In 1942 he returned to the team and batted well, and also kept wicket for Lords.    His house won Turner Cup for the first time.

He left in July 1942, and enlisted in the Irish Guards on August 6th 1942.  After training at Caterham, Pirbright and Sandhurst OCTU, he was commissioned on June 4th 1943. Further training with 2nd (Armoured) Battalion in Yorkshire, and a few weeks at Colchester, prepared him for service abroad, and he went to France on July 15th 1944. He was left out of the battalion’s action on July 18th as part of Operation Goodwood, but on August 1st he rejoined 2nd (Armoured) Battalion, which had suffered a number of casualties in the first few days of another attack, Operation Bluecoat.  Keatinge was posted to command a troop in No.1 Squadron.

Keatinge was killed in action on 4th August 1944 near La Marvindiere, in Normandy when his squadron came under attack from German Panther tanks at 500 yards range.  Aged 20 when he died, he is buried in grave V.D.2 of the St Charles de Percy War Cemetery.   Two other Wykehamist Guardsmen died in the same area at the same time and are buried in the same cemetery: on August 3rd, Major Reggie Batt (E 1922-1927), 1st (Armoured) Battalion, Coldstream Guards; on August 4th, Keatinge’s contemporary Lieutenant David Vivian Martyn (I 1937-1942), a member of Batt’s Squadron of the Coldstreams (see individual entries).

War: World War 2

  • Surname: Keatinge
  • Forenames or initials: John Charles Fitzgerald
  • House: D
  • Years in School: 1937-1942
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: 2nd Armoured Battalion, Irish Guards
  • Date of Birth: 19th January 1924
  • Date of Death: 4th August 1944
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner B2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: St Charles de Percy War Cemetery: Grave V.D.2