Vivian Arnold LEE

Badge Number: S388, Sub Branch: Gumeracha

LEE, Vivian Arnold

Service Number: 3420
Enlisted: 21 September 1916, Adelaide, South Australia
Last Rank: Trooper
Last Unit: 9th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Gumeracha, South Australia, 27 April 1897
Home Town: Gumeracha, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Kenton Valley Primary School and Birdwood High School
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Natural causes, Gumeracha, South Australia, 23 August 1996, aged 99 years
Cemetery: North Gumeracha Cemetery
Memorials: Gumeracha Anzac Honor Roll, Gumeracha Town Hall WW1 Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

21 Sep 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Adelaide, South Australia
7 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3420, 9th Light Horse Regiment
7 Sep 1917: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3420, 9th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Kyarra, Melbourne
11 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Trooper, SN 3420, 9th Light Horse Regiment

World War 2 Service

10 Apr 1942: Enlisted Adelaide, SA

War Experiences

When World War 1 broke Viv Lee enlisted for active service but was rejected due to the vision in his right eye being below 6/60. He tried again with the same result but at the third try, when he was eighteen years and eight months old he was accepted, taking the Oath on 10 October 1916.

He went into camp at Seymour, Victoria on 23 October 1916 and was allotted to the 29th Reinforcement Kyarra Group (a small group of only 19) in the 9th Light Horse Brigade on 11 June 1917. On 7 September 1917, Viv sailed from Melbourne on HMAT A55 Kyarra in convoy 33. There were 280 troops on board and 43 civilian passengers. He arrived in Egypt and marched into reinforcements camp at Moascar, Egypt on 19 October 1917.

He joined the 9th Light Horse regiment in time to participate in the pursuit of the Turks that led to the capture of Jerusalem in December 1917. In early May 1918 he was part of the Es Salt raid and then took part in the capture of Jenin and Sasa before moving on to Damascus.

Viv served in Egypt, Palestine and Syria until in April 1919 he was repatriated aboard SS Oxfordshire. His nephew Ron Lee recalls 'Viv clearly remembered the thrill of seeing the sun rise over Mount Lofty as the ship sailed up Spencer Gulf in South Australia. The troops marched to Keswick Barracks through streets lined with people cheering them home.

He didn't talk about the war much, occasionally describing swimming in the Dead Sea and showing his grandchildren a collection of coins collected in the Middle East at the time. He called the dairy farm he established when he returned 'El Rimal'.

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