Leslie Malcolm BLACK

Poppy

BLACK, Leslie Malcolm

Service Numbers: 1913, 1915
Enlisted: 13 January 1915
Last Rank: Sergeant
Last Unit: 1st Infantry Battalion
Born: Junee, New South Wales, Australia, October 1888
Home Town: Junee, Junee, New South Wales
Schooling: Wagga Wagga High School, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Fireman
Died: Killed in action, GSW to chest by sniper, Dudicourt (near Flers), France, 1 January 1917
Cemetery: Bulls Road Cemetery, Flers
Bulls road Cemetery (Plot I, Row B, Grave No. 30), Flers, France
Memorials: Haymarket NSW Government Railway and Tramway Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

13 Jan 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 1913, 1st Infantry Battalion
25 Jun 1915: Involvement Private, SN 1913, 1st Infantry Battalion
25 Jun 1915: Embarked Private, SN 1913, 1st Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ceramic, Sydney
7 Aug 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 1915, 1st Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli, SW
7 Aug 1915: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 1915, 1st Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli, SW
13 Nov 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lance Corporal, 1st Infantry Battalion
4 Mar 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 1st Infantry Battalion
11 Aug 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Sergeant, 1st Infantry Battalion
1 Jan 1917: Involvement Sergeant, SN 1913, 1st Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout
Australia and New Zealand in WWI

Sgt Leslie Malcolm Black

Today, on the old battlefields and cemeteries of the Somme, poppies and roses grow in silence which, to the rhythm of a light breeze, wave peacefully, carrying their colors through the rows of white graves on which the sun extends its rays to shed new light on the names and fates of men who gave their all on these soils of France for which they fought bravely and on which, side by side, they fell. Gone but never forgotten, they stand in silence, on these sacred lands on which they shed their blood.Forever young in the light of remembrance and in our hearts, their memory will never fade and today,it is a new breath of life that I would like to give to one of these young men who gave his life for us, I would like, with deep gratitude, to pay a very respectful tribute to Serjeant number 1913 Leslie Malcolm Black who fought in the 1st Australian Infantry Battalion and who was killed in action 104 years ago, on January 1, 1917 at the age of 27 on the Somme front.

Leslie Malcolm Black was born in 1890 in Junee, New South Wales, and was the son of John Black, of Junee, and Emma Jane Black (née Kilmartin), of 14 Swan Street,Richmond, Victoria. Leslie was educated at Wagga Wagga High School and before the outbreak of the war he worked as a firefighter in Junee.
Enlisted on January 15, 1915 in Liverpool, New South Wales, in the 1st Australian Infantry Battalion, 5th Reinforcement, he embarked with his unit from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on June 25, 1915 and sailed for Gallipoli where he arrived on August 5, 1915 and where he was wounded by a shell the following day, on August 6, and was evacuated to Mudros, Greece where he was admitted to the 16th Stationary Hospital on August 8.After recovering from his injuries, Leslie was sent back to Gallipoli on August 27, 1915 and was promoted to the rank of Lance Corporal three months later, on November 7. On December 28, Leslie embarked on board "Huntsgreen" and sailed for Egypt where he was disembarked in Alexandria in early January 1916.

A month later, on February 14, 1916, Leslie was promoted to the rank of Corporal and the following month, he joined the British Expeditionary Force in Alexandria and embarked with his battalion, on board "Ivernia" on March 22 and sailed for France where he was disembarked in Marseilles on March 28 then was sent to the Somme front where he fought with great bravery and was promoted to the rank of Serjeant on August 7, 1916.

Leslie showed admirable courage and constant coolness on the battlefields of the Somme, but unfortunately, four months after having joined the trenches,on January 1, 1917, while Leslie was showing another sergeant the post from which he was to be relieved in the "Swiss Trench" at Gueudecourt, he was shot in the heart by a German sniper and died almost instantly,he was 27 years old.

One of the witnesses to Leslie's death, Private number 416, Leslie Arthur Woodward wrote:
"He looked quite peaceful and had no mutilations"
Today, Serjeant Leslie Malcolm Black rests in peace in Bulls Road cemetery, Flers, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "In memory of the dearly loved son of Mrs. E.J.Kilmartin".

Leslie, sir, it is with deep respect and with my heart that I would like to write these few words to say thank you. You who were young, in the prime of your life with a future full of promise,you answered the call of duty under the threatening shadows of a world at war.without hesitation and with determination, you stood courageously with your comrades and your brothers in arms to defend freedom and peace and sailed across the ocean to reach the trenches of the Somme and the soils of France on which so many lives were stopped under the violence of assaults which were swept away by the fury of machine guns under deluges of bullets, lead and steel.day and night, they fought in the mud which they dragged like weights under their shoes, in the cold, in rains of blood and steel, they faced the worst horrors in appalling conditions, in these trenches, they gave their youth which they lost seeing their friends who fell around them, living in the vision that they would be the next to fall,they saw death in front of them every day on the no man's land on which their comrades lay, in the shell holes, in the barbed wire, in the mud and the poppies, a whole generation of men was mowed down.Despite what they went through, these young men never lost their courage nor their sense of humor which comforted the French people with whom they built strong friendships, they never lost their determination and never backed down in the face of dangers and moved forward, together in the face of adversity, under shells, marching through veritable storms of fire and steel, all showed admirable bravery.they fought for the men who were with them, in a very strong bond of comradeship and unity, of fraternity and served their country with unfailing courage, all of them, they were more than ordinary men, they were heroes who performed acts of bravery under enemy fire from the battlefields of the Somme which were the deadliest of the great war.they fought with conviction and with brave hearts, meter by meter despite horrible losses They were young, they were brave and all gave their today side by side, shoulder to shoulder and did their duty with honor and with deep love for their country, for their homeland for which they shed their blood and gave their lives and today rest in peace here, in the Somme, on these sacred lands of the Somme on which bloom the poppies of Remembrance which remind us every day of what sacrifices were paid for the peace we live in thanks to them.These French lands for which they have done so much and given so much will always be theirs and we will always watch over them as if they were our own sons, our fathers for whom I feel in my heart a deep admiration, a very great respect, and I would always watch over them with love, with gratitude to keep them alive in our hearts and in our thoughts for the story of these men to guide and inspire us. to be there for them is more than an honor, it is a privilege and they will always be for me, in my eyes and in my heart, my heroes, my boys of the Somme whose names and faces will live eternally in the flame of remembrance that I would protect by putting all my heart and my energy into it.Thank you Leslie,with all my heart, we will never forget you.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.

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