Keyes, Geoffrey Charles Tasker, born 18-05-1917 in Aberdour,
was the oldest son of Admiral of the fleet Roger John Brownlow Keyes 1st
a British naval hero in World War I and the first Director of Combined Operations during World War II. His mother was Eva Mary Bowlby: they had three daughters and two sons including Geoffrey Keyes. Father Keyes survived his son and suffered a detached retina in early 1944. He then undertook a goodwill tour of Canada, Australia and New Zealand at the request of the British Government in July 1944. During his visit to the amphibious warfare ship USS Appalachian he suffered smoke inhalation following an attack by Japanese aircraft and never fully recovered. He died at his home in Tingewick on 26-12-1945, age 73, and was buried at the Zeebrugge corner of St James’s Cemetery in Dover. He attended Kingsmead School in Seaford, Sussex, Eton and the Royal Military College. In October/November 1941 a plan was formulated at 8th
Army headquarters to attack various targets behind enemy lines, including headquarters, base installations and communications facilities. One of the objectives was the assassination of Erwin Rommel
(did you know
), the commander of the Axis forces in North Africa. The raid was intended to disrupt enemy organization before the start of Operation Crusader. The operation, codenamed Operation Flipper, was led by Lieutenant Colonel Robert Laycock. While walking back from Sunday church services on 10-03-1968, Robert Laycock had a heart attack and died.
Keyes, who had been present throughout the planning stage, selected the most hazardous task for himself: the assault on the headquarters of Rommel’s Africa corps.
Death and burial ground of Keyes, Geoffrey Charles Tasker.