||pre 9 Oct. 1915
||Michael Keating, Private 24/813, service from 29 May 1915 to 24 September 1917.
Postcard 1: Michael Keating. On the back, "To fond sister Mary from Mick you will see by this I am going to the front I am in the 10th Platoon, C. Company 2nd Battalion, Trentham Regiment E.L.O. leaving New Zealand next ?Wednesday? 9 of October I hope Jack is keeping well also all of you I mite see you all someday so goobye(sic) to all Michael Keating".
MICHAEL KEATING (Uncle Mick)
Rifleman Michael Keating served from May 1915 to September 1917, part of that time in Belgium where he was injured and shell shocked, and from where he was sent back to England to convalesce. He did not improve and returned to New Zealand, via Hobart, in October 1917. While overseas he sent a series of postcards to his niece, Bertha Keating, in England.
Uncle Mick, as he was known in the family, came to live with his sister, Bridget Smith (nee Keating) after she went and had him discharged from the mental hospital in Nelson (Ngawhatu). He was there as a result of severe shell shock - in the First World War.
He was a frail, thin man. He did all the messy jobs around the house and it's hard to think that he had a particularly happy life. His postcards, sent to Bertha Keating during the war - from both Europe and England, and in the end, New Zealand, show a slow deterioration in his health.
Uncle Mick had a cough which apparently got worse if he smoked, had a bath, or lay on his back. He also had a slight twitch (not surprising really - with everyone yelling at him) and that was something else he got yelled at for, "stop twitching Mick". After the war he was very nervous, with constantly shaking hands, and he was very hesitant in speech.
He was nursed at Wairau Hospital in the 1960s by his great niece (Mary Hickman) who always found him very loving, caring and gentle. He died there in 1966 at 79 years of age.