Lest we forget – Lance Corporal Matthew Keith Sillars

From the very early entries in my Grandfather’s diary, he has mentioned his brother Keith a number of times.  Keith died in action 25 November 1941 and is buried at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery in Egypt.  Keith was married to Joan Elizabeth Wilson, I am unsure if they had children.

My grandfather didn’t find out his brother was killed in action until 31st December 1941, even though he was himself was just a very short distance away fighting in Operation Crusader.

My grandfather visited Keith’s grave while he was serving in Libya and took these photos.

While I was in Dunedin, I found Keith’s name on the wall of those lost during WW2 from the Otago region.  As he wasn’t from Otago, but Canterbury, I asked, and the best reason they could offer was that he enlisted while in Dunedin – his wife Joan was from Dunedin.

Keith Sillars
Keith Sillars – I think this photo was taken just prior to leaving New Zealand
Keith Sillars war grave at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery (Egypt)
Keith Sillars war grave at Halfaya Sollum War Cemetery (Egypt)
Details from the New Zealand Wargraves Project
Details from the New Zealand Wargraves Project
Keith's death mentioned in local paper
Keith’s death mentioned in local paper in 1941
Keith's name on the wall at the Early Settlers Museum in Dunedin
Keith’s name on the wall at the Early Settlers Museum in Dunedin (Sillars, Matthew Keith)
 Cenotaph Record from the Auckland War Memorial Museum website
Cenotaph Record from the Auckland War Memorial Museum website

Images taken from the following sites

http://www.nzwargraves.org.nz

http://www.aucklandmuseum.com

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