Sir Edwin Thomas LEANE CBE, MiD

LEANE, Edwin Thomas

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 14 September 1914, Perth, Western Australia
Last Rank: Colonel
Last Unit: Army Ordnance Corps AIF
Born: Prospect, South Australia, 25 August 1867
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: North Adelaide Public School & Whinham College
Occupation: Resident Secretary (Colonial Mutual Life)
Died: Natural causes (cancer), Camberwell, Victoria, 27 August 1928, aged 61 years
Cemetery: Box Hill General Cemetery, Victoria
Memorials: Burwood Memorial Arch, Keswick Prospect Methodist Sunday School Honour Board WW1, Lindisfarne Officers of the 12th Battalion Pictorial Honour Roll, North Adelaide Public School Roll of Honor, Prospect Roll of Honour G-Z WWI Board
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Boer War Service

1 Oct 1899: Involvement Lieutenant, 4th Imperial Bushmen

World War 1 Service

14 Sep 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Captain, Officer, Perth, Western Australia
2 Nov 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Captain, 12th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Medic, Fremantle
2 Nov 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, 12th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, 12th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
1 Nov 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Colonel
23 Nov 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Colonel, Department of Repatriation and Demobilization
8 Nov 1919: Discharged AIF WW1, Colonel, Army Ordnance Corps AIF

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Biography

Sir Edwin Thomas Leane was the eldest of the "Fighting Leanes of Prospect" a remarkable family in which every eligible male enlisted and served in the Great War.  See the story in this link:  48th Infantry Battalion (/explore/units/5), known as  "The Joan of Arc Battalion" because it was "made of all Leanes".  A play on words of Joan of Arc's sobriquet 'Maid of Orleans'. 

 

"Edwin Thomas, eldest of eight surviving children, was born on 25 August 1867 at Prospect and was educated at North Adelaide Public School and Whinham College before becoming a bookkeeper and later an insurance manager. He joined the South Australian Garrison Artillery (militia) about 1888 as a gunner and transferred to the 3rd South Australian Infantry Regiment in 1890, reaching the rank of captain. On 15 June 1891, at St Paul's Church, Adelaide, he married Katie Mary Walker Machin; they had eight children. Edwin volunteered for service in the South African War in 1900-01 as a subaltern with the 4th South Australian Contingent of Imperial Bushmen and was mentioned in dispatches. After the war he settled in Sydney, becoming resident secretary of the Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Ltd. He was described as 'a big man, both physically and mentally'.On 14 September 1914 Leane joined the Australian Imperial Force as a captain in the 12th Battalion. Because of illness in Egypt, and possibly his age, he was transferred to the Australian Army Ordnance Corps; his administrative ability was finally to carry him to the top levels of the A.I.F. Ordnance Service. Promoted major in April 1915 he served at Gallipoli as deputy assistant director of ordnance services, 2nd Division, from late July until the evacuation, and held the same appointment in Egypt in January-March 1916 and until July in France and Belgium. In August he was promoted lieutenant-colonel and transferred to A.I.F. Headquarters, London. After leave to Australia in February-July 1917 he was posted to France and in November became the head of the ordnance services, 1st Anzac Corps. From February 1918 this responsibility was widened to include the whole A.I.F. in France. He was promoted colonel in November and became a deputy director in the A.I.F. Repatriation and Demobilization Department, London, before returning to Australia in September 1919; his A.I.F. appointment ended in November.

He had been mentioned in dispatches five times, appointed C.B.E. and awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre. Three of his sons, Allan Edwin (died of wounds 1917), Geoffrey Paul and Reuben Ernest, served with the 48th Battalion, and a fourth son Maxwell with the Royal Australian Navy. Edwin Leane was appointed administrator of Norfolk Island in 1924; although he was officially commended for his administration, the Australian government terminated his office in 1926 because of his personality clashes with prominent Norfolk Islanders. Survived by his wife and six of their children, he died of cancer at Camberwell, Melbourne, on 27 August 1928 and was buried in Box Hill cemetery..." - READ MORE LINK (adb.anu.edu.au)

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