Keene was the captain of the third-rater HMS Justinian.
In the novelsEdit
He was not popular with his men.
Keene disliked John Simpson, and did not hide his dislike of him.
However, he did care for some of the men under his command, such as when he ordered Lieutenant Masters not to load the pistols used for the duel between Horatio Hornblower and Simpson. He advised Hornblower never to fight another duel.
Keene arranged for Hornblower's transfer to HMS Indefatigable, because he felt Hornblower shouldn't be on a ship with so little chances for him to advance.
Nothing is known about Keene's fate after this, but based on a remark he made to Hornblower, he didn't have long to live.
In the TV seriesEdit
Keene was much older, but just as sick. His men thought little of him. He also disliked Jack Simpson.
Keene arranged for the transfer of his midshipmen to HMS Indefatigable after France declared war.
Some time after the midshipmen (save for Simpson, who had been wounded in the shoulder in a duel with Clayton) were transferred to Indefatigable, the Justinian was attacked by the Papillon. Captain Keene was killed by a French shot.