Pte 30818 Wilson Keyte, 11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, who served in Macedonia during the First World War, was awarded the Greek Military Cross in July 1919¹. The Greek Military Cross, The Order of the Redeemer (Τάγμα του Σωτήρος), is the highest decoration awarded by the Greek Government.
Son of Ann Keyte, a domestic servant and gloveress, Wilson William Keyte was born in Broadway in 1885 and was brought up in the village. After leaving school he worked as a grocer’s assistant in Broadway and in 1904 he married Ada Ethel Such in Chipping Norton. Wilson and Ada had three children and in the 1911 census, the family are recorded as living on Leamington Road, Broadway.
Following the outbreak of the First World War, Wilson enlisted with the Worcestershire Regiment and was posted to Macedonia with the 11th Battalion. Wilson was awarded the Military Medal in 1917 for stretcher-bearing duties during the Battle of Doiran. Two of Wilson’s cousins, Pte George Thomas Handy, 9th (Service) Battalion, and Pte Albert Henry Clarke, 11th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment, were involved in the same battle. Pte Albert Clarke² was killed in action on 24th April 1917 and Pte George Handy³ was killed instantaneously by a shell during the night of 24th/25th April 1917.
The 11th Battalion saw action in Macedonia from November 1915 until September 1918. The battalion was then posted to Bulgaria and Turkey and at the end of September 1919 was amalgamated with the 9th Battalion. After the end of the First World War, Pte Wilson Keyte was awarded the Greek Military Cross (conferred by His Majesty The King of The Hellenes) for meritorious service in action. Wilson Keyte died, aged 64, on 5th June 1949 in Rugby, Warwickshire.
¹Supplement to the London Gazette 21st July 1919.
²Pte Albert H. Clarke is commemorated on the Doiran Memorial in the north of Greece and on the Broadway War Memorial, Broadway, Worcestershire.
³Pte George T. Handy is buried in Karasouli Military Cemetery, Polikastro, Greece.
6th December 2013