Leslie Raymond PELLEW

PELLEW, Leslie Raymond

Service Number: 891
Enlisted: 18 March 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Kensington, South Australia, 9 February 1896
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Queen's School & St. Peter's College, South Australia
Occupation: Student
Died: Killed in Action, France, 5 November 1916, aged 20 years
Cemetery: No known grave - "Known Unto God"
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board, North Adelaide Christ Church Roll of Honour, North Adelaide Christ Church Honour Board, North Adelaide Queens School Honour Board, North Adelaide St Peter's Cathedral WW1 Honour Roll, Port Elliot War Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux Memorial (Australian National Memorial - France)
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World War 1 Service

18 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick, South Australia
31 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, 891, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Geelong embarkation_ship_number: A2 public_note: ''
31 May 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Corporal, 891, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Adelaide

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Corporal L. R. Pellew was killed in action in France on November 9. Shortly after attaining his 19th year he enlisted, and left for Egypt on May 31, 1915. He was educated at Queen's School and at St. Peter's College. As a good all-round sportsman he distinguished himself in inter-collegiate contests. He was highly respected, and loved by all who knew him." - from the Adelaide Chronicle 02 Dec 1916 (nla.gov.au)


From the book Fallen Saints

Leslie Raymond Pellew of North Adelaide was born at Kensington, South Australia in 1896 and gained his early education at Queen’s School in Adelaide. While at Saint Peter’s College he proved to be a good all round sportsman and distinguished himself in inter-collegiate sporting competitions. Leslie was the second of three brothers all of whom attended the Collegiate School of St Peter and served in the AIF during the Great War. When he enlisted at Keswick on 18 March 1915 Leslie was a student and serving in C Company, 78th Infantry. (Citizens Force)

At the beginning of April, he was posted to D Company, 27th Battalion where he was appointed lance corporal and a fortnight later was made provisional corporal.

When these few lines had appeared in the School Magazine in May 1915, the mood of most Australians was one of great optimism but sadly, of the three men mentioned, Coulter and Pellew were killed and Arnold Knapman invalided ill back to Australia in 1916.

R B Coulter, L R Pellew, and A W Knapman left us about the middle of the term as they had joined the colours. We wish them every success, and hope sincerely that they will be present at the capitulation of Berlin. [i]

He sailed from Adelaide aboard HMAT Geelong on 31 May 1915 and after two months in Egypt, proceeded to Gallipoli, then on 10 September was admitted to Lemnos hospital with diarrhoea; a week later was evacuated to England via Hospital Ship Aquitania.

At the beginning of February 1916, he proceeded to Egypt with the 17th draft of general reinforcements and rejoined the battalion at Ismailia in March.  He was promoted to substantive Corporal on 7 April and while at Armentières was attached to 7th Light Trench Mortar Battery until he rejoined the battalion in early September.

When killed in action at Flers on 5 November Corporal Leslie Pellew was 20 years of age.

 He was highly respected, and loved by all who knew him. [ii]

Leslie’s brother, Captain Clarence Everard Pellew (OS) also 27th Battalion was mentioned in despatches for gallantry and in December 1918, the editor of the School Magazine wrote how proud the School could be of turning out men like Clarence who ‘in science and sport’ are able to ‘lead the way.’

After the war Clarence (Nip) Pellew resumed his career as a State cricketer and made his debut as a batsman and bowler in Test Cricket when Australia played England in Sydney 17-22 December 1920; Australia won.

 ... In addition to his performance at cricket, Lieut. Pellew had the distinction of being the only Australian to win a prize in the Empire Sports. Let us hope we shall soon see him and all the other Old Scholars who have fought so gallantly return to take as much interest in their ‘alma mater’ as they have shown for ‘patria sua’ while abroad. [iii]

When Elliot Pellew enlisted in October 1918, he like his brother Leslie before him was just 19 years of age and still a student; fortunately, for his widowed mother the war ended before her youngest son left Adelaide.

[i] St Peter’s School Magazine - W K Thomas & Co, Adelaide, May 1915, p. 3
[ii] Adelaide Chronicle Obituary, 2 December 1916, p. 43
[iii] St Peter’s School Magazine - W K Thomas & Co, Adelaide, Dec 1918, p. 25-26