Des and Viv O'Keefe of Palmerston North, remember the story that goes with this photograph of their father, John Leo O'Keefe. It was taken before the battle of Le Quesnoy just before the men stormed over the hill. Apparently the war photographer requested the men look more active for the shot, but this image of the men resting and preparing to move was taken. The man lying in the mud at the bottom of the photograph, who is unidentified, was killed moments before this shot was taken, particularly tragic as the war ended just one week after this battle. When this photograph was published in a newspaper, this group of soldiers was thought to be Australian and the man sitting centre-left was erroneously identified as a man named Mr Sparks. After a lot of back and forth with the newspaper, that identification was corrected to John Leo O'Keefe - Viv and Des' father. Letters from John Leo to his sister Lena were also donated to the My Family Story project. He worked at the International Harvester Company, who had premises in Palmerston North.

 

John Leo O'Keefe - this is one of several large colour portraits of John Leo O'Keefe. 

John Leo O'Keefe - this is one of several large colour portraits of John Leo O'Keefe. 


Comment