Leland Corbet ALLMOND

ALLMOND, Leland Corbet

Service Number: 4370
Enlisted: 12 January 1916
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 27th Infantry Battalion
Born: Norton Summit, South Australia, 8 July 1897
Home Town: Norton Summit, Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Schooling: Public School, South Australia
Occupation: Gardener
Died: Killed in Action, France, 5 November 1916, aged 19 years
Cemetery: AIF Burial Ground, Grass Lane, Flers
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Cherryville WW1 Pictorial Honour Roll, Norton Summit War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

12 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 4370, 27th Infantry Battalion
25 Mar 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 4370, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Shropshire embarkation_ship_number: A9 public_note: ''
25 Mar 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 4370, 27th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Shropshire, Adelaide

Help us honour Leland Corbet Allmond's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Leland Corbet ALLMOND was born in Adelaide, South Australia on 8th July, 1897

His parents were Walter Henry ALLMOND and Ann Elizabeth  MOULDS


His brother Christopher William ALLMOND (SN 2568) died of Illness on 4th September, 1918 & his Uncle Arthur William ALLMOND (SN3359) was Killed in Action on 25th September, 1917

Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From Francois Berthout

Pte 4370 Leland Corbet Allmond,
27th Australian Infantry Battalion,
7th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division,
Australian Imperial Force

On the fields of the Somme, stand eternal under the rays of the sun, row upon row, the silent graves of thousands of young men, of a whole generation of heroes who came from the other side of the world to fight shoulder to shoulder, united in camaraderie to preserve our humanity and who together, pushed forward by an invincible ardor, in the prime of their youth, gave their today and their lives in the mud of the trenches to make prevail the light of peace and the hopes of freedom who brought together these exceptional men and who, guided by fraternity, by the love of their country, to the sound of the whistles which broke the silence, climbed the wooden ladders and went over the top while watching over each other like brothers who, charging bayonets forward in the face of the madness and fury of a world at war, faced the fire of the machine guns and stood tall despite the rains of shells which mowed down their ranks but, even in death, they continued to protect these sacred grounds in the north of France on which thousands of them rest today in the silence of peace alongside their brothers in arms forever united among the poppies on which so much tears and blood were shed and which remind us every day of what these young boys did for us who have the privilege of living in peace thanks to their courage and their sacrifices and over whom I will always watch with respect and love so that in the light, in our thoughts and in our hearts, their faces and their names live forever.

Today, it is with the utmost respect and with the deepest gratitude that I would like to honor the memory of one of these young men, of one of my boys of the Somme who, for each of us, for Australia and for France, gave his life on the battlefields of the Great War.I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 4370 Leland Corbet Allmond who fought in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, 7th Brigade, 2nd Australian Division of the Australian Imperial Force, and who was killed in action 107 years ago, on November 5, 1916 at the age of 19 during the Battle of the Somme.

Leland Corbet Allmond was born on July 8, 1897 in Norton Summit, South Australia, and was the son of Walter Henry Allmond (born in 1863 and died on December 14, 1959 at the age of 96 in Norton Summit) and Ann Elizabeth Allmond ( née Moulds, born on October 28, 1862 and died August 12, 1928 at the age of 65 in Uraidla, South Australia), who married on May 7, 1890 at St Mary Church, Kensington, South Australia and lived in Cherryville, South Australia. He had 4 brothers, Sydney Clarence (1891-1956), Christopher William (1893-1918), Clifford Thomas (1895-1956), Eric Walter (1907-1918) and a sister, Matilda Betsey (1903-1936). He was educated at the Public School then after graduation worked as a gardener until the outbreak of the war.
In 1914, Australia was in the middle of a double-dissolution election when Britain declared war against Germany in August. With Britain now at war, all dominions of the British Empire were also at war with Germany, including Australia. The Prime Minister, Joseph Cook as well as opposition leader, Andrew Fisher, who would win the election and become the Prime Minister, both pledged Australia’s full support. The campaign to recruit volunteers for the Australian Imperial Force began straightaway.

Refusing to stay behind and driven by a deep sense of duty, Leland enlisted on January 12, 1916 in Adelaide, South Australia, as a Private in the 27th Australian Infantry Battalion, 11th Reinforcement, which was raised on March 16, 1915 at Ascot Park Camp, Adelaide, and was under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Walter Dollman (who had formerly served in the forerunner volunteer militia unit, the 74th Infantry). The 27th Battalion was known as "Unley's Own", as many of the men who first enlisted in the war were from the district. Dollman had served as Mayor of Unley, and it was down Unley Road that the troops marched to be greeted and celebrated at the Town Hall prior to their embarkation for Egypt, Gallipoli and then ultimately to the Western Front.After a training period of just over two months at Mitcham Camp, south of the city of Adelaide, Leland embarked with his unit from Adelaide, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on March 25, 1916 then sailed for Egypt and arrived in Alexandria on May 29 but, without having the opportunity to have a little rest, he proceeded overseas for France the same day on board "Tunisian".

On June 5, 1916, after a short journey of one week on the calm waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Leland finally arrived in France then was sent to the 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot in Etaples which he reached on June 8 then after a period training, proceeded to join his unit and was taken on strength on August 11 at La Vicogne, in the Somme and the next day alongside the men of the 27th Battalion, marched to Fieffes-Montrelet where they followed a period of exercises.A little over a week later, on August 20, the battalion resumed its march through Rubempre, Vadencourt, reached Ovillers-La-Boisselle on August 23 and were engaged in fatigue parties in the Avoca Valley and the next day, took up positions in communications trenches near Mouquet Farm where Australian troops suffered terribly in fights which were among the deadliest in their history.

The Mouquet Farm was the first plunge into the hell of the war for Leland who saw so many of his comrades who were torn apart by bullets and shells then, exhausted, were relieved by the 1st Canadian Infantry Battalion on August 31 but the toll was terrible for the 27th battalion who, in just one week on the front line, lost more than 200 men. After this first terrible ordeal, Leland and his comrades moved into billets in Albert then on September 1st marched through Warloy-Baillon, Harponville, Amplier, and arrived in cantonment at Steenvoorde where the battalion received reinforcements then had a period of rest and training which kept the morale of the troops high despite the catastrophic losses suffered in the Somme but despite this period of relative calm, hell of the war was not over.

On October 5, 1916, Leland and the 27th Battalion left Steenvoorde and embarked by train from Godewaersvelde to Ypres where they arrived on October 12, relieved the 19th and 25th Australian Infantry Battalions then led an unsuccessful raid on October 15 on the enemy lines which were resulted in heavy losses because the artillery was unable to break the lines of barbed wire in which many men were caught and were mowed down by German machine guns. The next day, the 27th Battalion marched to St Lawrence Camp where they received the order to return to the Somme front and on October 25, arrived by train in the small village of St Riquier and from there, moved into billets to Dernancourt where they arrived two days later.

On November 2, 1916, the time had come for Leland and his unit to return to the muddy trenches of the Somme and left Dernancourt for Montauban where they relieved the 53rd Australian Infantry Battalion then took up position at Flers the next day. By this time the Somme battlefields had been deluged with rain and the attacks were made in atrocious conditions. However, an attack was planned for November 5 in this sector aimed at breaking through and taking a system of extremely fortified German trenches known as "The Maze". On that fateful day, the 27th Battalion's objective was to capture a trench known as the "Bayonet Trench" and Leland, alongside his comrades, went over the top with bravery but the attacking waves of troops were sucked down by the cloying mud and thus , unable to keep up with their creeping artillery barrage, became easy targets for German machine-gunners and riflemen.Despite support from the men of the 1st Brigade advancing against trenches north of Gueudecourt, the losses were catastrophic and although after they had succeeded in reaching their objective, the men of the 27th Battalion had to fall back in the face of a very strong German counterattack and it was during this action that Leland met his fate and was killed in action. He was only 19 years old.

Today, Leland Corbet Allmond rests in peace alongside his friends, comrades and brothers in arms at the AIF Burial Ground, Flers, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription: "Their glory shall not be blotted out."

Leland Corbet Allmond had a brother and uncle who fought courageously during the Great War. His brother was Trooper number 2568 Christopher William Allmond who served in the 9th Light Horse Regiment. Unfortunately, Christopher died of illness on September 4, 1918 at the age of 25 in Port Said , Egypt and rests today in peace at the Port Said War Memorial Cemetery.

Leland's uncle was Private number 3359 Arthur William Allmond who served in the 50th Australian Infantry Battalion. Sadly, Arthur was killed in action on September 26, 1917 at the age of 45 at Polygon Wood, Belgium and his body was never found but his name is remembered and commemorated with honor on the walls of Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.

Leland, more than a hundred years ago, loved by all those who knew you, who admired your sense of justice and courage, it was with a heart animated by the deepest love for your country that you responded to the call of duty, not only to do your part but to be present alongside your friends, to do what was right. Through this act of faith, you made your parents proud but also all of Australia and after a last goodbye on the golden banks of the city of Adelaide, bathed in a mantle of light, you set off for war, for what was to be the greatest adventure of the lives of thousands of young men like you who, under their slouch hats, innocent and so young, headed forward towards the battlefields of the great war, towards their destinies and did not know what unspeakable horrors awaited them through the barbed wire but, ready to fight, ready to do anything for their comrades, they crossed the ocean for thousands of kilometers, the last steps of lives barely lived, the last moments of calm, silence and peace on the waves of the Mediterranean Sea then, at the call of their officers, they gathered on the decks of the steamboats, fragile steel shells and, solemnly, they were told that they were going to fight in France, a country that they did not know but of which they knew that they had to help then, becoming aware of the dangers that they risked encountering, they placed their lives in the hands of God and prayed to be spared from hell, from the wounds and from the madness which was already crawling in the mud but, in this moment of the first fears, they found in camaraderie, comfort and hope, determination and courage then, side by side with each other, united in enthusiastic lines from which laughter and songs could be heard, they marched towards the killing fields above which rained annihilation and despair in sinister howls which, without respite, pounded again and again the bruised and devastated lands with all the brutality of artillery pieces which broke the sky with their flames and their deafening thunder which spat out the darkness of war but even under these hurricanes of fire, the young Diggers continued on their way and joined the trenches, ready to fight with determination alongside their French brothers in arms who, when they saw the Diggers fighting for the first time, remained moved and admiring in the face of so much bravery and followed them through the poppies which bore witness to the strength and conviction of the entire Australian nation.When the French soldiers met their Australian brothers, they were impressed but also moved by the brotherhood and camaraderie that reigned in the army of the Diggers and, smiling, asked why?, to which the young Australian soldiers replied "this is the ANZAC spirit". A spirit which guided them and kept them strong in unity but also in efforts, a spirit of great courage, solidarity, gallantry and sacrifices which they paid on the altar of freedom across the ravaged fields of Pozieres, in the destroyed towns of Amiens and Villers-Bretonneux which they defended fiercely without ever retreating a single step even in the face of the rain of bullets which decimated them at Mouquet Farm then at Flers. In all the villages of the Somme, the story of the Diggers still lives today. We remember them not as ordinary men but as heroes who could have been our brothers, our fathers and more than a hundred years later, like the generations before us, we see and love these men as our sons.We remember them, not with sadness but with infinite gratitude and tenderness. In Amiens where I live, I always feel proud to say that in 1918, the Australians liberated our city, our cathedral, that they fought hard to free us from darkness and today, more than ever, I feel proud and honored to follow in their footsteps, to watch over their graves, to keep their memory alive, to explain what they did for us, to tell who they were and finally, what they are and will always be for me, through my eyes and in my heart, my heroes, my boys of the Somme.

Thank you so much Leland, for everything you and your comrades, for everything Australia did for my country whose respect and love, in remembrance, will always be yours. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him,we will remember them.