Leslie Webster GREENLEAF

Leslie Webster GREENLEAF

Per his military service record (regimental no. 4783), Leslie Webster Greenleaf was born in London, England. He gave his age as 18 years, his marital status as single, and his occupation as butcher. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 7 inches tall, weight 126 lbs., with a fair complexion, grey eyes, and brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England.  He completed his medical on the 9th October 1915 at Gilgandra and was attested by Captain Nicholas on the 9th October 1915 at Gilgandra. He claimed to have had no previous military service.

After completing the march he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.

On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Eumungerie Post Office, N.S.W., and his next of kin was his sister, Miss P. Greenleaf, 2 Woodside Road, Surrey, England.

Private Greenleaf departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England on the 8th March 1916 as part of the 15th reinforcements to the 13th Battalion. He arrived in Egypt on the 11th April 1916.

On the 7th June 1916 Private Greenleaf left Alexandria aboard the Transport Ionian bound for France, arriving at Marseille on the 14th June 1916.

On the 29th August 1916, during the Battle of the Somme, when the 13th Battalion was attacking Mouquet Farm, he received a gunshot wound to his right hand. Private Greenleaf was hospitalised then evacuated to England.

Private Greenleaf returned to France on the 29th December 1917.

On the 2nd May 1918 Private Greenleaf was with his Battalion defending Villers-Bretonneux when he undertook an action for which he was recommended for (and subsequently awarded with) the Military Medal. The citation read: ‘East of Villers-Bretonneux on the morning of the 2nd May, 1918, when an officer was severely wounded by M.G. fire and lay within full view of the enemy, Privates Greenleaf and Smith went to his assistance and carried him in at great personal risk. With the assistance of two other men they improvised a stretcher squad, and, as the case was a serious one, carried through with it to the Regimental Aid Post. This was done in broad day light, and practically the whole route was under observation of enemy snipers who were very active.’

On the 20th May 1918, when the Battalion was still defending Villers-Bretonneux, three members of the Battalion were wounded. Private Greenleaf received a bomb wound to his left arm. He was hospitalised and evacuated to England.

Private Greenleaf did not return to France before the war ended, and he began his return to Australia aboard the City of Exeter on the 15th January 1919, arriving in Australia on the 2nd March 1919. He was discharged on the 11th May 1919.

2 responses to “Leslie Webster GREENLEAF

  1. Canon Martin Hulbert

    Leslie Greenleaf grew up in the Village of Bradbourne Derbyshire, and was living in the school house in the 1901 census and the 1911 census, the son of Richard Greenleaf an Insurance and Commission agent andLeslie is counted as of the 18 soldiers with Bradbourne connections who all went to war and all survived ,making Bradbourne the only “Thankful Village” in Derbyshire.
    He would obviously regard Bradbourne as his home village

    • Thank you for sharing this information. The 18 soldiers (including Leslie Webster Greenleaf) with Bradbourne connections were all very lucky to survive the war. It is interesting to find out what memorials/rolls of honour the Coo-ees were remembered on. Leslie Webster Greenleaf’s name was also recorded on the Eumungerie WW1 Honour Roll (where he was working when he enlisted, and the village he returned to after the war), and the Cooee March Memorial Park and Gates plaque at Gilgandra (as one of the 25 Coo-ees who enlisted there at the beginning of the march). Many of the Coo-ees had a connection to several towns/places of association, with many of them being born overseas.

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