The AIF Project

Leslie Thomas LEIGHTON

Regimental number2390
Place of birthRichmond, Victoria
SchoolBurnley State School, Richmond, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCommercial traveller
Address20 Park Terrace, North Unley, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 5.75"
Weight122 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Fanny Matilda Leighton, 43 York Street, Subiaco, Western Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date21 June 1915
Place of enlistmentKeswick, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name27th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/44/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A15 Star Of England on 21 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll27th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularDied in Tidworth Hospital, England.
FateDied of disease 8 June 1918
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death33
Age at death from cemetery records30
Place of burialTidworth Military Cemetery (Row C, Grave No. 276), North Tidworth, Wiltshire, England
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas and Fanny LEIGHTON, 3 Albion Street, Cottesloe, Western Australia
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 27th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 12 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 21 March 1916.

Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, 12 April 1916 (appendicitis), and transferred to 8th Casualty Clearing Station; to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Wimereux, 14 April 1916; to England, 15 May 1916; to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, 31 May 1916; discharged to Training Depot, 19 June 1916.

Appointed Temporary Corporal, 25 October 1916.

Admitted to Brigade Hospital, 8 January 1918; transferred to 1st Australian Dermatogical Hospital, Bulford, 13 January 1917; discharged, 1 March 1917; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 53 days.

Reverted to Private on marching out to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 21 January 1917.

Found guilty, 18 May 1917, of being absent without leave, 4 pm, 23 March, to 4 pm, 26 March 1917: admonished, and forfeited 4 days' pay under Royal Warrant.

Admitted to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 19 February 1918 (eczema); discharged, 27 February 1918.

Admitted to Rochester Row Military Hospital, 16 March 1918 (venereal); transferred to 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 7 May 1918; discharged to Convalescent Training Depot, Parkhouse, 20 May 1918; diagnosis amended to 'non-venereal'.

Admitted to Delhi Hospital (Group Hospital), Tidworth, 6 June 1918.

Died of disease, 8 June 1918 (1: arsenical poisoning following 606 [i.e. application of Salvarsan]; 2: heart failure).

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

Brother, Arthur A. LEIGHTON, wrote to Base Records, 30 August 1918: 'Thanking you kindly for your response to my inquiries re my brother, and the information therein. My mother has written me saying a duplicate has been received by her. She asks me explain to her salvarsan. This I understand, but would much rather not let her know as the boy's death alone has completely shattered her health. And to explain that, is it possible to conceive the effect it would have on my mother. Now if I don't tell her some one else will [underlined]. In the interests of the family I beg of you to advise her that the two phrases of her memo "Arsenical poisoning" [underlined] and "salvarsan" are incorrect and they refer to some other person leaving his death as heart failure. By granting me (and the family) this request you will save my mother further great pain and sorrow.'

Letter, Gregory SIEBERT, Adelaide, to Base Records, received 9 August 1944: 'I wish to make enquiries regarding the death of my father which was listed in the Adelaide Advertiser on June 27, 1918, as Died from Other Causes - 2390 Cpl. L.T. Leighton, Subiaco, W.A. 8-6-1918 ... Could you tell me how he died, his age, and his address in subiaco, W.A. I would also like to know the names and addresses of his next of kin, such as his Mother and Father and near relatives, and also if he was married. I did not know of my relationship until quite recently and am making the above enquiries for my own peace of mind, hoping that they can be obtained in the strictest privacy. I do not wish to have the name of anyone else concerned brought into a matter which has been forgotten for years ...'

Base Records replied to G. GILBERT [sic], 10 August 1944: '... the records of soldiers are treated as strictly confidential, I regret I am unable to furnish the information required.'

G. SIEBERT, Ulverstone, Tasmania, wrote to Base Records, 23 January 1968: 'I am endeavouring to trace the whereabouts of the next of kin of Private Leslie T. Leighton, 27th Battalion ... As I have news to their advantage it would be appreciated if you would advise as quickly as possible ...'

Base Records replied, 8 February 1968, advising of the Neutral Bay, NSW, address of Arthur A. LEIGHTON and of a Mrs O.J. LEIGHTON, also of Neutral Bay: 'She may be related to Mr A.A. Leighton.'
SourcesNAA: B2455, LEIGHTON Leslie Thomas

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