The AIF Project

Leslie Ivo NORTON

Regimental number3752
Place of birthNorth Kensington, Adelaide, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
AddressMann Street, Brompton Park, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 5.75"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinAunt, Mrs E Comley, Mann Street, Brompton Park, South Australia
Enlistment date26 November 1914
Rank on enlistmentDriver
Unit nameField Artillery Brigade 3, Reinforcement 2 & Reinforcement 3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A50 Itonus on 15 February 1915
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Admitted to DBI Hospital, Abbassia, 10 July 1915 (venereal disease); discharged to Details, 18 August 1915; rejoined unit, Zahrieh, 18 August 1915. Found guilty, 20 September 1915, of failing to appear on a parade: awarded 1 day's Field Punishment No. 2. Found guilty, 27 October 1915, of failing to comply with an order: awarded 3 days' Field Punishment No. 2. Admitted to 4th Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 5 December 1915 (mumps). Attached to Divisional Ammunition Column, Heliopolis, 1 January 1916. Admitted to 4th Auxiliary Hospital, 4 January 1916 (mumps); discharged to duty, 10 January 1916. Found guilty of being absent from parade, 28 January 1916: awarded 1 day's Field Punishment No. 2. Found guilty, 12 February 1916, of refusing to obey an order: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No. 2. Transferred to 4th Division Artillery, 27 February 1916; taken on strength, 21st Howitzer Brigade, and posted to 103rd Battery.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 25 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 1 April 1916. Transferred to 3rd Field Artillery Brigade, 15 May 1916.

Found guilty, 8 February 1917, of insolence to a NCO: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No. 2. Found guilty, 10 February 1917, of insolence to a Warrant Officer: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No. 2. Remustered as Gunner, 17 February 1917. Found guilty, 20 August 1917, of being absent without leave from 8 am to 10 pm, 17 August 1917: awarded 2 days' Field Punishment No. 2 and forfeited 3 days' pay.

Killed in action, Belgium, 25 September 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

On 30 October 1920, Provost Sergeant Major L. WAUCHOPE reported to Chief Clerk, 4th Military District, that Mrs COMLEY, named as next of kin, had stated: 'The above named soldier is the ex-Nuptial Child of my sister Emily Norton. My Sister did not have evidence as to the Father of her child, and as the Mother Emily Norton has been dead sixteen years no evidence of the Father of his relations can be ascertained.' Report continued: 'Mrs Comley took the child into her home on the death of his Mother, and adopted him, and until he enlisted he always looked upon her as Mother ... Mrs Comley's Mother and Brother would have nothing to do with Emily Norton's child so he was brought up in his Aunt's home as one of the Family.'

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