The AIF Project

Leslie LEISTER

Regimental number4840
Place of birthParkes, New South Wales
ReligionMethodist
OccupationPostal assistant
AddressBeverley, Avoca Street, Randwick, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 11.25"
Weight190 lbs
Next of kinUncle, R D Leister, Bogan Street, Parkes, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in 21st Infantry; Citizen Military Forces; still serving at tme of AIF enlistment.
Enlistment date28 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll2 October 1915
Place of enlistmentHolsworthy, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A15 Star Of England on 8 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll55th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot I, Row E, Grave No 5), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
161
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength 55th Bn, Ferry Post, 20 April 1916.

Found guilty, 6 May 1916, of being absent without leave from Reveille, 4 May 1916, to Reveille, 5 May 1916; awarded 3 days' confined to barracks and forfeits 2 days' pay under Royal Warrant.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Reported missing, 20 July 1916.

Previously reported missing, now reported killed in action, 20 July 1916, on the authority of the Assistant Adjutant General, ANZAC Section, 3rd Echelon, General Headquarters, British Expeditionary Force, 13 March 1917.

On 8 August 1921 and in response to a request from Base Records for information, R. D. Leister, the Uncle of Private Leister, noted, 'one letter was from a Soldier that knew him well. They had reached the German front-line at Fromelles and early in the morning of July 20th 1916[,] he saw him killed with a shell. Our boys was [sic] then retreating. My Nephew would be buried by the Germans.'

Report from Australian Red Cross Wounded and Missing Bureau, 18 October 1920, 'Leister L. 4840. 55 A.T.F. Fell 19.7.16 near Fromelles[.] Final German Death List, S'.

Note on Red Cross File No 1580712: 'The above name appeared on German list of dead dated 4-11-16.'

Statement, 4774 Pte H.G. COLEMAN, 55th Bn (patient, Lewisham Military Hospital, England), 11 February 1917: 'On 20th July 1916 in the morning I saw Leister killed with a piece of shell at Fromelles during a counter attack.'

Second statement, 4742 Pte J.L. BARKER, A Company, 55th Bn, 4 April 1917: 'He was wounded at Fleurbaix on July 19th. He got over past the German front line and was wounded there in the hip. He was put in a dug out in the German front line. I saw him there. He was lying on what looked liked a stretcher. He seemed quite cheerful and pretty right but could not move much. That is the last I know of him. If alive he must be a P/W ... We had to retire from the part where he lay.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 13), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
SourcesNAA: B2455, LEISTER Leslie
Red Cross File No 1580712

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