Leonard TONKIN

Badge Number: 30468, Sub Branch: Edwardstown

TONKIN, Leonard

Service Number: 5359
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Driver
Last Unit: 3rd Field Artillery Brigade
Born: Mount Barker, South Australia, 16 January 1890
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: Circumstances of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Centennial Park Cemetery, South Australia
Memorials: Murray Bridge Roll of Honour WW1, Port Broughton War Memorial
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World War 1 Service

27 Sep 1915: Involvement Driver, 5359, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade , --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '3' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Hororata embarkation_ship_number: A20 public_note: ''
27 Sep 1915: Embarked Driver, 5359, 3rd Field Artillery Brigade , HMAT Hororata, Melbourne
11 Nov 1918: Involvement Driver, 5359

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Biography contributed by tony griffin

Leonard Tonkin was the son of John Henry and Christina (nee Fletcher) Tonkin of Port Broughton. John Henry Tonkin had taken up land at Wokurna when the land was thrown open for selection and had farmed there for most of his life. 

Leonard was born at Mt. Barker. A farmer, he was 24 years old when he enlisted at Keswick on 19 July 1915.

Appointed to 10 Reinforcements 3rd Field Artillery he embarked from Melbourne aboard HMAT A20 “Hororata” on 27 September 1915 and was taken on strength with 3rd Division Ammunition Column at Heliopolis on 19 November 1915. On 25 March 1916 Leonard proceeded overseas to join the British Expeditionary Force in France. In France Leonard attended a School of Farriery for 2 months before being taken on strength of 1st Field Artillery Brigade and posted to 2 Battery. On 4 October 1917 Ist Field Artillery was stationed near Hazebrouke in support of the infantry attack that became known as the Battle of Broodseinde. 2 Battery received a hit and Leonard was hit in the right foot by a piece of shrapnel. He was admitted to 3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station where his leg was amputated above the ankle. On 16 October he was invalided to England and admitted to Cheltenham Voluntary Aid Attachment Hospital where he would be fitted with an artificial foot. Leonard embarked from England aboard HMAT A62 “Wiltshire” on 16 March 1918 and disembarked in Australia on 1 May. He was discharged medically unfit on 16 May 1918.

The war had finished when Leonard's younger brother, 945 Pte John James Tonkin, died of pneumonia in Belgium.