Lt. Col. Keegan

Lieutenant Colonel H.L. Keegan, D.S.O.
47th (Western Ontario) Battalion

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during an attack. In conjunction with another battalion he stormed and successfully captured enemy positions through uncut wire. Throughout the engagement, fought with his right flank exposed, he displayed marked courage and cheerfulness, and in face of the greatest difficulties advanced and held ground gained for three days.

(Keegan D.S.O. citation, London Gazette, 2 Dec 1918, 14213)

Herbert Leo Keegan assumed command of the 47th Battalion after Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Webb lost his leg in battle on 22 April 1918. A native Irish Catholic, Keegan was born in on 3 February 1888. He had previously belonged to the Connaught Rangers before moving to Canada to work for the Department of Agriculture. In November 1914, he enlisted as a captain with the 50th Battalion in Calgary.

While serving with 50th in France he earned a promotion to adjutant-major. After Webb was evacuated from the field, Keegan transferred to the 47th with the rank of lieutenant colonel. In September 1918, he received the Distinguished Service Order for conspicuous gallantry. Keegan remained in command until demobilization in 1919.

He died 23 December 1937.

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