In March 1915 Keith Keating was working at Wynyard as a tailor. Whether he had finished his apprenticeship is unclear but by 4 March 1915 had been accepted into the First A.I.F. and allotted to the newly formed 26th Battalion. This unit landed at Gallipoli in early September 1915. By early December as the weather deteriorated badly he developed trench foot and was also suffering from frostbite. In July 1917 as part of the Somme Offensive he sustained a head wound and was evacuated as far as Etaples for treatment. Returning to his unit two months later. In April 1918 he sustained a mild in-jury to his foot which was also treated at Etaples. In August he was diagnosed with a heart condition and returned to Australia.
In November 1933 he married Joyce Whyman and together they had two children, but the marriage did not last and two years later the couple separated. He later remarried. It would appear that there were times when he found it hard to find employment as a tailor and turned to labouring to sup-port himself and his family.