If ‘Saving Private Ryan’ were a British World War II film then it could easily have been made about the family of the Rev. Canon Archibald Leslie Keith, vicar of Wimborne, Dorset
Rev. Canon Archibald Leslie Keith MA and his wife, Margaret Layard Keith, were the parents of eight sons and one daughter. Rev. Keith became vicar of Wimborne Minster in 1920 and lived at the Vicarage, King Street, Wimborne.
One son, Michael Keith, died in a mountaineering accident in the Swiss Alps during the summer of 1939, aged 21. No fewer than four of his brothers died during the War
Lance Corporal Archibald Evelyn Keith, 1230, Division Cavalry Regiment, New Zealand Armoured Corps who died age 31 on 26 June 1941 Remembered with honour Phaleron War Cemetery, Greece.
Signalman David Wimborne Keith, 2374989, 2 W/T Compay, Royal Corps of Signals who died age 21 on 30 June 1943. Remembered with honour Bone War Cemeterey, Annaba, Algeria.
Lieutenant Geoffrey Brownlow Wigney Keith, Service number 268962 of the Gordon Highlanders attached to the 6th Batallion, Seaforth Highlanders died age 20 on November 1, 1943. Remembered with honour Cassino War Cemetery, Italy.
Leading Seaman Hubert Sydney Keith, P/JX149871, H.M.S. Odyssey., Royal Navy who died age 28 on 05 August 1943. Remembered with honour Tripoli War Cemetery, Libya.
The strong Christian faith of Rev. Keith and his wife upheld them and they continued their ministry in the parish, although these terrible losses told on the health of both of them. He served the Minster until his retirement in 1946, died in 1956 and is interred in Wimborne Cemetery.