Leo William Hall ANDERSON


ANDERSON, Leo William Hall

Service Numbers: Not yet discovered
Enlisted: 3 November 1914, Melbourne, Vic.
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 8th Light Horse Regiment
Born: Launching Place, Victoria, Australia, 18 June 1895
Home Town: Duntroon, Australian Capital Territory
Schooling: Ballarat State School, Ballarat Agricultural High School and Duntroon Military College
Occupation: Professional Soldier
Died: Killed In Action, The Nek, Gallipoli, 7 August 1915, aged 20 years
Cemetery: Ari Burnu Cemetery, Gallipoli
Row G, Grave No. II
Tree Plaque: Ballarat Avenue of Honour
Memorials: Ballarat Avenue of Honour
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World War 1 Service

3 Nov 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 8th Light Horse Regiment, Melbourne, Vic.
25 Feb 1915: Involvement Lieutenant, 8th Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
25 Feb 1915: Embarked Lieutenant, 8th Light Horse Regiment, HMAT Star of Victoria, Melbourne
21 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 8th Light Horse Regiment, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
7 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 8th Light Horse Regiment, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli

Lt Leo W.H. Anderson

Leo William Hall Anderson was born in 1895 in Launching Place Victoria. Leo attended the Ballarat Agricultural High School prior to entry to the third class at Duntroon Military College in 1911 to complete a four year course (which was shortened to three years to graduate the class early so that they could be sent over to Gallipoli). He was 20 years old when he graduated Duntroon on 2 Nov 1914. He excelled academically and won several study prizes, including the Australian National Defence League’s gold medal for the highest marks. After enlistment in the AIF on the 3 Nov 14. Leo was allocated to the 8th Light Horse Regiment (LHR) and he joined the unit in the Broadmeadows Camp and trained with them until Feb 15. The 8th LHR boarded the troopship HMAT Star of Victoria on the 25th Feb 1915. They disembarked at the Port of Suez on Easter Sunday the 4th Apr 15. From there, they travelled by train to Cairo. The 8th LHR (including Leo) embarked for Gallipoli on the 16th May 15 aboard the transport Menominee. On the 7th Aug 15 the 8th and 10th Light Horse were engaged in the Battle of the Nek . Leo was part of the first wave of 150 men from the 8th LHR, which "hopped the bags" and went over the top at 4:30 a.m. They were met with a hail of machine gun and rifle fire and within 30 seconds, they were all gunned down. A few men reached the Ottoman trenches, and marker flags were reportedly seen flying, but the men were quickly overwhelmed and shot or bayoneted by the Ottoman defenders. Trumpeter Les Lawry was also in the first line of the attack and he sighted Leo who had been wounded and fallen into a hole in no mans land. Along with Major McLaurin, the two men helped carry Leo back to the trenches. Leo later died on the beach at Gallipoli. His Commanding Officer, Lt Col Maygar, wrote of Leo “This officer showed excellent qualities, ability and promise and by his early death the Service and the Commonwealth suffered a great loss” Leo’s remains are buried in Ari Burnu Cemetery at Gallipoli. His death is commemorated on panel six of the of the First World War Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra and tree number 331 is dedicated to Leo planted along the Ballarat Avenue of Honour. On August the 7th 2019, Leo’s life and service were commemorated in the Last Post Service at the Australian War Memorial.

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Biography contributed by Robert Wight

Lt Leo William Hall Anderson was killed in action on 7 August 1915 during the charge towards the Turkish trenches at The Nek. 

In command of A Troop that attacked in the first wave at 4.30 am, he was shot in the back and found cover on the exposed side of The Nek.

At 7 am, Major McLaurin and Trumpeter Lelsie Awry crawled out and dragged him back to the Anzac trenches.

He died of his wounds at around 7 pm on the same day.

He is commemorated on the Ballarat War Memorial and by Tree 331 on the Ballarat Avenue of Honour.

Source: Gallipoli Heroes, p.7