Leslie George PARKER

Badge Number: S24172, Sub Branch: Tumby Bay

PARKER, Leslie George

Service Number: 3297
Enlisted: 11 March 1916, Tumby Bay, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 38th Infantry Battalion
Born: Wokurna, South Australia, 29 August 1896
Home Town: Butler Tanks, Tumby Bay, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Tumby Bay Hospital, 13 May 1963, aged 66 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Tumby Bay Cemetery
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World War 1 Service

11 Mar 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Tumby Bay, South Australia
27 Jun 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3297, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Malakuta, Adelaide
27 Jun 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3297, 32nd Infantry Battalion
28 Oct 1916: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 3297, 32nd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Port Melbourne, Fremantle
28 Oct 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3297, 32nd Infantry Battalion
11 Nov 1918: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 3297, 38th Infantry Battalion

World War 2 Service

23 Jun 1941: Enlisted Keswick, SA

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Leslie George Parker was born on the 29th of August 1896 at Wokurna, a between Port Broughton and Snowtown, to parents George James Parker and Mary Melanie Callier. His family moved to the Eyre Peninsular in 1903 to take up farming near Butler Tanks. They were a poor pioneering family who cleared their land to make a living. Leslie would go out for days at a time with his brothers, with only a pick, axe, flour, sugar and a gun, to shoot rabbits to eat.

Looking for adventure at nineteen and a half years of age, Leslie enlisted at Tumby Bay on Saturday the 11th of March 1916. He was assigned as a soldier in the AIF 32nd battalion 7th reinforcement. When the time came, on the 27th of June 1916, he embarked at Adelaide on board HMAT A57 “Malakuta”. Shortly into his voyage, Leslie got the measles and disembarked at Fremantle on the 4th of July 1916. He was ordered to be sent to Blackboy Hill camp to train and learn basic skills for the army. After his recovery and training, he was assigned to the 32nd battalion 10th reinforcement. On the 30th of October 1916, he boarded the HT “Port Melbourne” at Fremantle bound for England.

For nearly two years Leslie served as a cook in the army, and during this time he would often visit his sister, who was also stationed in England during First World War. When the war escalated, Leslie left South Hampton, heading overseas to France as a reinforcement soldier for the 48th Battalion AIF. On the 5th of February 1918 he joined the 48th battalion in the field of La Clytte, Belgium. Leslies grandparents, on both sides of the family, where from Belgium, so this would have been a once in a lifetime experience for him to visit the country they were from. While fighting in a defensive action against the German Spring Offensive, somewhere in Albert Sector, in the Somme Valley, on the 28th of March 1918, Leslie was wounded in action. He received a gunshot wound to his head. He was admitted to the 56th Casualty Clearing Station, and then transferred to the 22nd General Hospital at Camiers on the 29th of March 1918. On the 4th of April 1918, Leslie was evacuated to England, and admitted to Central Military Hospital at Eastbourne. He was transferred to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Dartford on the 19th of April 1918. After almost four months of recovery, Leslie was discharged from hospital on the 24th of April 1918 on temporary leave without pay.

On the 8th of May 1918 he was ordered to report to the No.4 Command depot at Hurdcott. He marched in to Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge, Deverill on the 31st of May 1918. He then marched in the 12th Training Battalion at Codford on the 17th of June 1918. On the 15th of August 1918, he proceeded overseas to France. Leslie rejoined the 48th Battalion in the field on the 28th of August 1918. On the 19th of September 1918, Leslie was fighting on the Hindenburg Out Post Line, and received a gunshot wound to his chest. Leslie kept a bible in his top pocket of his shirt when fighting, and luckily the bullet went through his bible first reducing the damage to his chest, saving his life. He was admitted to the 4th Australian Field Ambulance on the 20th of September 1918. The next day he was transferred to the 12th Casualty Clearing Station. On the 24th of September 1918 he was transferred to the 5th General Hospital at Rouen. The same day he was sent back to England, and admitted to the 1st Southern General Hospital at Birmingham, on the 26th of September 1918.

After a long recovery, Leslie was discharged from hospital on the 11th of December 1918. He reported to No.2 Command depot at Weymouth on the 27th of December 1918. March the 5th 1919, he bordered HT “Nevasa” bound for Australia. Leslie disembarked on the 18th of April 1919 and was discharged in Adelaide, 3rd of June 1919. He was honoured with a British War Medal and a Victory Medal.

After the First World War, Leslie went back to Butler Tanks, and bought a soldier’s settler block to start his own farm. On the 7th of June 1922, he married Doris White, and they later had 9 children. Leslie was very courageous to enlist again for the Second World War after been shot twice on the Western Front. He stayed in Australia during World War Two, and served in Barmera, South Australia, and was a cook and a guard at an Italian Prison of War Camp. He also served in New South Wales at a prison of war camp where there were Japanese Prisoners of war, for some of the time. Leslie had a hard life fighting two World Wars, as well as working hard on the farm clearing the land. At sixty six years of age, on the 13th of May 1963, Leslie passed away at Tumby Bay Hospital after suffering a second heart attack.