Sir Alexander George William "Bill" Keys, AC, OBE, MC (2 February 1923 – 3 May 2000) was an Australian Army officer and a long-serving president of the Returned and Services League (RSL).

Sir William Keys
Born(1923-02-02)2 February 1923
Lidcombe, New South Wales
Died3 May 2000(2000-05-03) (aged 77)
Queanbeyan, New South Wales
AllegianceAustralia
Service/branchAustralian Army
RankCaptain
Battles/warsSecond World War Korean War
AwardsKnight Bachelor
Companion of the Order of Australia
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross
Spouse(s)
Dulcie Beryl Stinton (m. 1946)
Other workPresident of the Returned and Services League (1978–88)

Early life and careerEdit

Keys was born in Sydney on 2 February 1923 and grew up on his family's farm at Bombala.[1] He enlisted in the military in 1940 and served with the Second Australian Imperial Force in New Guinea. He was injured at the Battle of Tarakan, and was invalided home for the rest of the war. He also served in the Korean War with the 3rd Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment, although he was also wounded in that conflict.[2] He received the Military Cross in 1952.[3]

Before the Korean War, Keys had been elected to the New South Wales council of the RSL (1947), and he became national secretary of the RSL in 1961, rising to the presidency and retaining it until 1986.[3] Keys, who also served as international president of the Federation of Korean War Veterans Associations, was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire in 1970 and Companion of the Order of Australia in 1988. He was knighted in 1979.

Personal lifeEdit

Keys married Dulcie Beryl Stinton at St Phillip's Church of England, Auburn on 12 September 1950. The couple had met on the Orion, on a voyage to England in June the previous year.[4]

Keys died at home in Queanbeyan of cancer in 2000.[3][5] His widow, Lady Keys, died aged 94 on 7 April 2018, survived by their three daughters.[6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Carnell, Kate (10 May 2000), "Death of Sir William Keys AC Kt Cr OBE MC", ACT Legislative Assembly Hansard, archived from the original on 12 March 2016
  2. ^ "Death of Sir William Keys". Parliament of New South Wales. 4 May 2000.
  3. ^ a b c "Papers of Sir William Keys". National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "Lieutenant Weds On Eve Of Departure For Korea". The Sydney Morning Herald (35, 173). New South Wales, Australia. 13 September 1950. p. 1. Retrieved 11 April 2018 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ Cornwell, Greg (29 August 2000), "Death of Sir William Keys AC Kt Cr OBE MC", ACT Legislative Assembly Hansard, archived from the original on 4 April 2011
  6. ^ "DULCIE BERYL KEYS". Sydney Morning Herald. 11 April 2018. Retrieved 11 April 2018.