14 November 1941 |
Quetta, British India
|Years of service||1963 - 1987|
|Unit||Royal Leicestershire Regiment
Royal Anglian Regiment
|Commands held||2 PARA|
|Awards||Distinguished Service Order|
In February 1964 Keeble was commissioned into the Royal Leicestershire Regiment, which amalgamated into The Royal Anglian Regiment just seven months later. He joined the Parachute Regiment in 1972 and was promoted to major in 1975. During the Battle of Goose Green, he inherited command of the 2nd Battalion of The Parachute Regiment (2 PARA) when Lieutenant-Colonel H. Jones was killed in action. A devout Catholic, Keeble, then a major, took over command of the battalion at a stage where one in six of his men were killed or wounded, they were largely out of ammunition, had been without sleep for 40 hours and were vulnerable to a counter-attack. After kneeling alone in prayer amongst the burning gorse he ordered his men to withdraw and released several Argentine prisoners of war with a message to the Argentines to surrender or risk more casualties. The offer was accepted and Keeble, accompanied by his artillery officer and veteran BBC journalist Robert Fox, approached his Argentine counterpart Lieutenant Colonel Ítalo Piaggi to negotiate a ceasefire. On 29 May he accepted the peaceful surrender of the Argentine forces at Goose Green.
After the battle, despite popular sentiment among the soldiers of 2 PARA for him to remain in command, he was superseded by Lieutenant-Colonel David Robert Chaundler, who was flown in from Britain to take command of the battalion. After the war, Keeble was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order. He ended his military career as a lieutenant colonel on 27 September 1987, his final appointment being a Staff Officer Grade 1 at Allied Forces Central Europe in the Netherlands.
Keeble retired from duty to establish a consultancy and lecturing practice providing instruction on balancing the "ethic of business transformation with the ethic of peoples’ flourishing". He is currently a supernumerary fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford University.
- "Pupils of the Schools at Paris, Douai and Woolhampton" (PDF). Douai Abbey.
- "Keeble, Christopher Patrick Benedict - DSO MSc FCMI". Royal Tigers' Association.
- The London Gazette: . 11 February 1964.
- The London Gazette: . 17 January 1972.
- The London Gazette: . 21 January 1975.
- "Books blog: The inspiring Catholics who strived for peace amid war". The Catholic Herald. 30 November 2015.
- "Forgiveness Out of War". For A Change (Initiatives of Change). 4 April 2007.
- The London Gazette: . 14 December 1982.
- The London Gazette: . 8 October 1982.
- The London Gazette: . 29 September 1987.
- "Fellows & Staff - Supernumerary Fellows". hmc.ox.ac.uk.
- Oak Square Press (3 April 2006). 2 Para's Battle for Darwin Hill and Goose Green. Oak Square Press. ISBN 978-0-9660717-1-9. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
- Spencer Fitz-Gibbon (April 2006). Not mentioned in despatches: the history and mythology of the Battle of Goose Green. James Clarke & Co. ISBN 978-0-7188-3016-8. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
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