Edward Henry O'Keefe (SN 4858) from Hertford Street in Sebastopol attended the Redan State School. He was a 20 year old labourer when he enlisted on November 23rd 1915. Like his brother James, he trained with the 14th Depot Battalion in Ballarat then with the 8th Battalion reinforcements at Broadmeadows. On March 7th 1916 he joined James on the Wiltshire for the voyage to Egypt where they both joined the 5th Pioneer Battalion. Most of the battles noted on his service record were with his military superiors. While in Egypt he was charged with ‘refusing to obey an order’ and ‘neglect of duty’. In June 1916 he moved to France. While serving there he was twice hospitalised due to illness, pleurisy in January 1917 and tonsillitis in February 1918. Between these two illnesses he had a stretch of nine days absence without leave for which he was sentenced to forfeiture of 28 day’s pay. With his health in decline he was returned to Australia before the war’s end and disembarked from the Essex in Melbourne on August 1st 1918. It was another year until his brother James reached Melbourne.
His brother James is also honoured with a tree in the Avenue.