Archives Assignment Research the history of a person who once

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					ARCH2002                          Tom Georgonicas

 Archives Assignment: Research the history of a person who once lived in Adelaide
                           Subject: Laurence Potinger Keley


 To trace the history of Laurence Potinger Keley by using primary documents
collected from the State Records of South Australia, The Land Services Group, and
the State Library of South Australia and from the private collection of Laurence
Douglas Keley.


 The first step taken in researching the history of Laurence Potinger Keley was
speaking to his two children, Laurence Douglas Keley and Diane Mavis Georgonicas
in order to get basic information. Mrs Georgonicas proved helpful in providing the
names of L.P Keley's siblings, whilst L.D Keley, who now lives at the original home
of L.P Keley, managed to find a few documents relating to L.P Keley. I drove to Mr.
L.D Keley's residence to collect the documents on 23rd of October 2010, and in the
process was able to look for more documents relating to L.P Keley, finding an 'Article
of Partnership', a service pension agreement from the Department of Veterans' Affairs
and a funeral agreement form used when L.P Keley passed away in 1991.

With these documents in hand, I was able to use the 'National Archives of Australia'
website to find any information relating to L.P Keley. Using the 'Name Search' link i
was able to find L.P Keley's enlistment details of the Second World War, and also
information of his brothers, Ronald (his twin), Arthur and Keith and their service in
World War Two. The NNA website helped in providing, what year each of the
siblings were born, where/when they enlisted, to what battalions the enlisted into
which in turn would indicate where they served. The NNA records also revealed the
name of their L.P Keley's father, William Henry Keley. With this data I was able to
visit State Records and find their names, years of birth, years of death and marriages
via the 'SA Marriages Index of Registration 1892-1916' and the 'SA Deaths Index of
Registration 1916-1972'.
ARCH2002                             Tom Georgonicas

The State Records centre in Adelaide didn't have any information on L.P Keley, but
had one document relating to his twin brother Ronald Inkster Keley. This document
was his Academic Report card from Le Fevre Primary School, dating 1936. I came
across this by searching the database using name search. The document itself was
stored at the Gepps Cross storage facility and took a day to be found and delivered to
the city centre to be viewed by myself; it was later photocopied by the staff so I could
use a copy for further reference.(see Appendix 6&7)

With the data collected from State Records, I was able to find the original house that
L.P Keley grew up in, 7 Christie St Largs Bay when he was raised by W.H. Keley and
his mother Isabella Jane Keley. With this in mind, I visited the Land Services group
on 101 Grenfell St, Adelaide at 2:00pm, where it was quiet enough to receive help
from the staff in finding the cancelled certificate of titles belonging to W.H. Keley
and L.P Keley. Trying to search the titles by myself was quite difficult as the system
was quite confusing to use, so I had to seek help from a staff member who was more
than willing to help and guide me through the system to find the relevant documents
needed. After finding a document, I was then able to find its correlating document by
searching for it's 'volume' and 'folio' number which could be found on top of the
cancelled title.. The cancelled certificate of titles particularly the 32 Centre St titles
gave important information about when L.P Keley became the owner of the land, any
mortgages he received and when the land became the property of his widow Joan
Doris Keley née Mowbray. At the State records I came across the name Charles
Clarence Keley, who was listed as the son of W.H.Keley. C.C. Keley was not
mentioned by either L.D.Keley or D.M.Georgonicas and his existence confused both
of them when I mentioned his name to them. He appears also in the cancelled title of
W.H.Keley after his death in 1953, as the owner of the 7 Christie St land along with
Arthur Henry Keley.(see appendix 9) Checking the marriage and deaths index, I
found that there were two W.H.Keleys. The eldest, was Laurence’s grandfather. This
older W.H.Keley was the father of C.C.Keley, thus making C.C.Keley, Laurence
Keley’s other uncle. Finding this man caused some confusion, but also helped solve
another problem of finding Laurence’s mother’s name. At first it was believed to be
Matilda Marie Keley, but her name appears as the mother of Arthur Harold Keley on
his roll of embarkation for the First World War, this would only make sense if she
was the mother of Laurence’s father. By referring to the index records or marriages, I
ARCH2002                           Tom Georgonicas

was able to find that Laurence’s father had married Isabella Jane Inkster, who was the
mother of Laurence. (see appendix 21)

After getting the certificate of titles from the Land Services group, I searched the
South Australian Library's database to find any information they might have. At first I
was not getting any results. The only source I was able to find a book on the 27th
Battalion and their service in the Second World War. The book itself is a requested
item, meaning it had to be collected by a library staff member and could only be
viewed in the 'Sommerville' reading room of the State Library. But to gain access to
the reading room, you need a 'SLSA resource card' which can be obtained easily with
the help of the staff at the information desk at the library with some proof of identity
(e.g. a driver’s license). The book itself titled The brown and blue diamond at war:
the story of the 2/27th Battalion A.I.F was mainly a picture book, I had searched
through the book to find any images of L.P Keley, but was unsuccessful. This was
probably due the pictures following the army in actual combat overseas, whilst
Laurence served in Australia at the time.

I then spoke to the 'family history' staff member at the library; I was shown that since
the Keley family had members who fought in the Second World War, they would be
on the nominal roll on the 'Australian War Memorial' website. I was shown how to
access the site by looking up 'name search' and typing the family name 'Keley' in the
relevant search boxes, then clicking on the nominal roll link which took me to the site
which listed the L.P Keley and his brothers as having served in the Second World
War. I used this 'Australian War Memorial' site to look up L.P Keley's uncle who
fought and died in the First World War, I was able to locate his name on a departure
list, and a telegram that was made by his superiors listed him as M.I.A, then a second
telegram confirming he was K.I.A.

With these documents I was able to piece together a history of Laurence Potinger
ARCH2002                            Tom Georgonicas

 Laurence Potinger Keley was born to William Henry Keley and Isabel Jane Keley
née Inkster on the 10th of December 1922.(Appendix3) During his childhood,
Laurence was raised at 7 Christie St, Largs Bay with his older siblings, Keith
William Keley, the eldest, born on the 8th of September 1916; his sister Laurel Isabel
Keley, born 30/5/1918; Arthur Henry Keley, born 8/2/21 and his twin brother Ronald
in the small house on 7 Christie St.(SLSA:2010) As it did with many families at the
time, the depression had it's affect on the Keley family. Speaking to L.P Keley's son,
Laurence Douglas Keley, the family was never well off, but did well with what they
had. L.P Keley's father William ran his own electronics and electrical engineer store,
a business that all his son’s gained interest in as they got older. There are no
documents that show Laurence went to school, but this never their education. L.D
Keley and Diane Mavis Georgonicas née Keley, L.P Keley’s children explained that
the Keley family were smart when it came to mechanics, electronics and even creating
and inventing objects. Keith William Keley had submitted and held the entitlement as
inventor of the twelve cylinder rotary petrol engine.(NNA:2010) Out of all the
siblings, Ronald was the most intellectual. He went to school at Le Fevre Central
School from 1936 to 1937, his grades showed interest in mechanics, science, design,
technical drawing, woodwork and showed great interest in being a mechanical
engineer like his father and brothers.(Appendix 6&7) In 1937, when Laurence was 14
years old his mother, Isabella Jane Keley passed away on June 16th at the age of 50
years old.(Cobiac:2006)

 The outbreak of the Second World War, just like many families in Australia, had a
huge impact on the lives of the Keley family. By early 1942, Japan was on
Australians door step, and the country was on the brink of invasion. On the 19th of
January 1942, the same Japanese fleet that attacked Pearl Harbour in 1941 bombed
Darwin Harbour. This attack had an impact of Laurence Keley, three days later on the
22nd, he had enlisted in the Citizen Military Forces, the reserve unit of the Australian
Imperial Forces. Laurence joined the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, the same
battalion his uncle Arthur Harold had joined when he enlisted to fight in World War
One.(appendix 19) The 27th was based at Mataranka in the Northern Territory, and
was stationed there. His duties would have involved guard post duty after receiving
ARCH2002                            Tom Georgonicas

basic training at the base at Mataranka. Throughout 1942, Darwin would be
constantly bombed, in one such case, Laurence was forced to take cover under a jetty
in Darwin during a raid, narrowly avoiding gunfire from a Japanese fighter/bomber.
This event according to D.M.Georgonicas had an impact on Laurence after the war,
he would have dreams about being shot at by Japanese fighters and taking cover under
the jetty.
By March 1943, Laurence and the 27th had been transferred to New South Wales.
Here Laurence underwent military driving training, first from the 8th to the 13th of
February 1943 and later the 13th to 16th of October 1944, passing both
tests.(appendix 15) It was his time in New South Wales that he met Joan Doris
Mowbray, whom he would later marry after the end of the war.(Appendix 18). 1943
also had seen the 27th join the main A.I.F, which would mean the 27th would be
involved in military operations outside Australia, However, Laurence did not serve
overseas, instead because of his skills in driving and mechanics, he continued to stay
in Australia as a driver for the military police, returning to the Northern Territory.
Although no documentations exist to show what his main role was, both his children,
Laurence and Diane say he was driving Military Police and officers around the
Northern Territory, from base to base and also driving intelligence officers from place
to place investigating any Japanese or German espionage in the region. Whilst he
served in Australia, his brother Arthur was a signalman for the 33rd in Port Moresby.
The eldest, Keith William was a Corporal for the 2/50th Light Aid Detachment and
his twin brother, Ronald was forced to stay behind and serve in the 1st Battalion
Volunteer Defence Corp. (NAA:2010)

With the war ending officially on the September the 2nd 1945, Laurence like many
other continued to serve in the army until their service was over. After serving in the
army for 1,426 days from 22 January 1942 - 17 December 1945, Laurence was
discharged from the A.I.F. (Appendix 2)

After returning from the war, Laurence and his brother Arthur continued to work for
their father in his store 'Keley's'(Appendix6&7), but in 1947, both Laurence and his
brother Arthur became partners with their father and renamed the company 'W.H.
Keley & Sons', which was located at Semaphore Road, Exeter and the agreement was
made legal on the 22nd of September 1948.(Appendix 14) In that year, Laurence had
ARCH2002                             Tom Georgonicas

bought the land at 32 Centre St Largs Bay with his wife Joan, on the 23rd of January
1948 from a Mr. Rex Howard Button. (Appendix 11)
Laurence continued to live at 32 Centre St and work at the family run business. By
1986, Laurence was beginning to retire; he had requested and was accepted to receive
a military service pension when he retired. Documents don’t show when he retired,
but with the ‘Service Pension Examiner’ date of 18 January 1983, it would have to be
around this time. Laurence Potinger Keley passed away on the 15th of January 1991
from heart failure at the age of 68. He had survived by his wife Joan, who passed
away on 11/9/07, his son Laurence Douglas Keley and his daughter Diane Mavis

I received most of the primary documents with the help of Laurence Douglas Keley;
he had kept many documents that related to his father since his passing in 1991. These
documents included
      Birth certificate extracts.
      L.P Keley's Record of Service Book.
      L.P Keley's discharge papers.
      L.P Keley's Military Drivers Licence.
      The funeral notice used for L.P Keley's funeral.
      The large portrait of L.P Keley.
      Request and acceptance forms for military pension.
      And the photo of L.P Keley’s parents.
These sources were all helpful, but the birth certificate extracts, the record of service
book, discharge papers, military driver’s license and the funeral notice were most
useful. The record of service book gives an indication when he met his wife Joan
during the war, date of births on all the documents help confirm his birth date and his
military drivers license helps back the story of Laurence being a driver for the
Military Police in the 27th Battalion during the war, which explains why he never had
to fight overseas.

State Records contained only one document that was useful and that was the report
card of Laurence's twin brother Ronald. Apart from showing the grades of Ronald it
ARCH2002                           Tom Georgonicas

also revealed the name of the business that William Henry Keley had owned 'Keley's'
and electrician shop. The State records also had the index reference books for the 'SA
Marriages Index of Registration 1892-1916' and the 'SA Deaths Index of Registration
1916-1972'. Here I was able to find the marriage date of W.H Keley and I.J Keley,
find out that Laurence's grandparents, aunts and uncles were. Also, I was able to get a
precise date of when both W.H Keley and I.J Keley passed away. The Land Services
group held three cancelled certificate of titles that related to L.P. Keley, one was his
childhood home, the other two related had the dates when he bought the land at 32
Centre St and also when the land was transferred to his widow Joan after his death in
1991. The State Library of South Australia had some information on their family
history database; I was able to get a birth date for Laurel Isabel Keley with the help of
the family history staff member.

The biggest help had come from internet sources of the ‘National Archives Australia’
and the ‘Australian War Memorial’ name searches. The National Archives name
search had listed at least 28 hits of the name Keley and I was able to find military
records of Laurence and his brothers; however this was simply an index, just the bare
details, but contained their dates of birth. In order to view the actual document, they
would need to be purchased and delivered to Adelaide; the same went for birth, death
and marriage certificates, costing around $40 for each copy.

The sources were limited, the only documents that had been kept relating Laurence
and his family were mainly military records, nominal rolls and in the case of his
uncle, records of him being M.I.A and K.I.A in the First World War. These
documents have not yet been put on electronic sources, except the transcripts relating
to Arthur Harold, Laurence’s uncle killed in the First World War (refer to appendix),
these were found on the Australian War Memorial website. Laurence’s marriage to
Joan and his death could not be found in any index at State Records, mainly because
the marriage index only listed marriages from 1892-1916 and deaths from 1916-1972
as they were in those periods law to have the marriages and deaths recorded in a
register during those decades. I relied on conversations with Laurence Douglas Keley
and Diane Mavis Georgonicas to get some details, for example the date of death for
both Laurence and Joan Keley is a common fact in our family, and found it very
difficult to get a document giving the dates.
ARCH2002                           Tom Georgonicas

There were a few sources I had aimed to get for this research paper, they were birth,
marriage and death certificates of Laurence, his brothers, sister, mother and father.
However, each document would cost $40 to print out, something I cannot afford.
However, the basic information was available on the State Library’s database and
some information in the registration index for deaths and marriages. The National
Archives in Canberra holds all the military records of Laurence and his brothers,
obtaining them would have helped greatly for the report, but since they were being
held in Canberra, and cost money to be printed and transferred to Adelaide, I could
not afford these costs. But the basic information was placed on the National Archives
database; this gave me the birthdates of all the Keley brothers and what battalions
they enlisted in. I was also interested in finding information on Ronald Inkster Keley,
from information gathered from D.M. Georgonicas, Ronald had a breakdown when he
learnt he couldn’t join his brothers in fighting, he was forced to stay behind in
Australia and serve in the Volunteer Defence Corp and work in intelligence due to his
intellectual abilities. No records state he did this, but his breakdown could be
plausible as the index on the Australian War Memorial Nominal Roll lists Ronald as
being discharged on the 20th June 1944, more than a year before the war had ended.

Archaeologically, there wasn’t much information that would help in an excavation; I
found that the information that could be obtained from all the documents would be
more helpful for family history or personal history. Researching the history of my
grandfather has raised some questions that relate to historical archaeology. When i
first found out about the possibility of obtaining birth, death and marriage certificates
that relate to Laurence I was ecstatic, but was deterred over the cost of obtaining such
documents at $40 a copy. I was forced to rely on birth certificate extracts (which were
helpful) but also databases and register books. Just like any document, there is the
chance of error, but the primary birth, death and marriage certificates are less likely to
be wrong. Also, the name Keley itself can easily be misspelled by people writing
documents, it could easily be written as Keeley, Kealy, Kealey or even Kelly. It is
highly possible that other documents exist that relate to Laurence, but misspelling has
caused them to placed amongst other families in Australia.
ARCH2002                           Tom Georgonicas

There is also a huge gap in the history of Laurence from after 1948 up until his death,
i found it extremely hard to find anything that related to what he did during those
decades and this has defiantly affected piecing together a history of Laurence P.
Keley. I am certain that with more research over time, i can find more documents that
relate to Laurence and be able to complete a better history on my grandfather.
ARCH2002                        Tom Georgonicas

Cobiac, A. 2001, South Australian Registration of Marriages Index 1842-1916, South
Australia Genealogy and Heraldry Society.

Cobiac, T. 2006, South Australian Registration of Deaths Index 1916-1972, South
Australia Genealogy and Heraldry Society.

Department of Veterans' Affairs, 2010. World War 2: Nominal Roll, 5/11/10.

The Australian Government, 2010, The National Archives of Australia website: Using
the Archives, Name Search. Accessed on the 5/11/10.

2010. The Australian War Memorial Website: People, Name search. Accessed on the
ARCH2002                          Tom Georgonicas


1. Photograph of Laurence Potinger Keley. (courtesy of Laurence Douglas Keley)

2. A.I.F service discharge papers. (Courtesy of Laurence Douglas Keley)

3. Birth Certificate extracts. (Courtesy of Laurence Douglas Keley)

4. Service Pension Examiner and Funeral Notice of Laurence Potinger Keley.
(courtesy of Laurence Douglas Keley)

5. Australian Military Forces: Army Driving License of Laurence Potinger Keley.
(courtesy of Laurence Douglas Keley)

6 and 7. School report card of Ronald Inkster Keley.(State Records archives)

8-9. Cancelled Land Certificate of William Henry Keley. Vol 1592 folio 67(Land
Services Groups)

10-11 Cancelled Land Certificate of Charles Henry Button. Vol 1568 folio 177(Land
Services Groups)

12-13 Cancelled Land Certificate of Laurence Potinger Keley. Vol 1969 folio 158.
(Land Services Groups)

14. Article of Partnership between W.H Keley, A.H.Keley, and L.P Keley for their
business ‘W.H.Keley & sons’. (courtesy of Laurence Douglas Keley)

15- 18. Record of Service Book for Laurence Potinger Keley, service number
SX32657. (courtesy of Laurence Douglas Keley)

19. Embarkation record of Arthur Harold Keley for the First World War. (Australian
War Memorial)

20. Transcript confirming Arthur Harold Keley was K.I.A in 1917.(Australian War

21.Laurence Potinger Keley and Joan Doris Mowbray, taken during World War Two
in Sydney. And Isabel Jane Keley née Inkster with William Henry Keley, date
unknown. (Courtesy of Diane Mavis Georgonicas & Laurence Douglas Keley)
ARCH2002   Tom Georgonicas
ARCH2002     Tom Georgonicas

Appendix 1
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Appendix 2.
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Appendix 3
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Appendix 4
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Appendix 5
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Appendix 6 and 7
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Appendix 14
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Appendix 15
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Appendix 16
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Appendix 17
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Appendix 18
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Appendix 21

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