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  • Keith Mortimer HAYES

    Peter Epps
    • Regimental Number: WX12317

    Keith enlisted on 2 May 1941 and was an original member of the unit, embarking aboard “ZEALANDIA” on 8 Dec 1941 for Timor as a Private in 7 Section, "A" Platoon. On the morning 20 Feb 1942, most of 7 Section were going into Dili for R & R aboard the ration truck, not realising the Japs had landed during the night, they were ambushed and captured. Keith was a survivor of the ration truck massacre being both shot and bayoneted in the neck, and left for dead. He was found by some Timorese  and taken to a village where he was treated by a Timorese lady, Donnabella Martins. The unit was informed he was still alive and he was collected by members of the unit and placed in the very capable hands of Dr Dunkley and his medical team. Once contact had been made with Australia, Keith was evacuated to Darwin from "SUAI" aboard "KURU" on 17 Jul 1942.

    After hospitalisation Keith joined 2/11th Infantry Battalion, A.I.F. on 21 Jun 1943 and attended 19th Brigade NCO School from 11 Jun to 8 Jul 1944. He was appointed Paid Lance Corporal on 15 Jul 1944 and embarked for New Guinea aboard "KATOOMBA" on 5 Nov 1944.  He returned by plane to Australia on 1 May 1945. He attended Land Head Quarters School of Military Intelligence Course No 22, "B" Wing from 7 May to 16 Jun 1945 and qualified.

    He was promoted Corporal on 18 Jan 1946, Lance Sergeant on 21 Jan 1946 and Acting Sergeant on 11 Mar 1946.

    Keith was discharged on 28 Aug 1946.

    He was entitled to the 1939-45 Star, Pacific Star, War Medal and Australian Service Medal 1939-45, pictured below. 

    Keith was made a Life Member of the Unit in 1988 and awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) 2007.

    The West Australian | Saturday, August 25, 2018 | 48.jpg WWII hero dies but his Timorese love story lives on (1).jpg KH biography - Commemorative Mission Timor-Leste 2012 - 70th anniversary of the Timor Campaign.jpg Government expressess condolences for the death of Keith Hayes.jpeg

    Government expresses condolences for the death of Keith Hayes.pdf

    Life Member.JPG

    Medals Pac.JPG


    Hayes KM.JPG

    Edited by Peter Epps
    Moved video to YouTube, resized images (people can click to enlarge)


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