Leonardo (Galyard) GAGLIARDI


Service Number: 70
Enlisted: 12 January 1916, at Adelaide
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 43rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Molfetta, Bari, Italy, September 1891
Home Town: Glanville, South Australia
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Engine cleaner
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World War 1 Service

12 Jan 1916: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 70, 43rd Infantry Battalion, at Adelaide
9 Jun 1916: Involvement Private, SN 70, 43rd Infantry Battalion
9 Jun 1916: Embarked Private, SN 70, 43rd Infantry Battalion, HMAT Afric, Adelaide
31 Jul 1917: Wounded AIF WW1, Private, SN 70, 43rd Infantry Battalion, Warneton, GSW back

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Biography contributed by Saint Ignatius' College

Gagliardi was born in a small town called Molfetta in Italy. It’s known for its fishing, boatbuilding, food production, and the manufacturing of cement. Is a town located on the northern side of the Metropolitan City of Bari, Apulia, southern Italy.

Gagliardi’s day job was as an engine cleaner, presumably working mostly on the railways.

Gagliardi signed up for the army in 1916 at the age of 24. He embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, in the month of June. Gagliardi set off to Europe on board HMAT A19 Afric (His Majesty’s Australian Transport) which was a huge boat believed to weigh 12,000 tonnes full loaded. The ship left for the Western Front on the 9th of June 1916.  Gagliardi served on the western front with the 43rd battalion. Gagliardi's fellow soldiers referred to him as "Galyard," which was his Italian name translated into English. This name was taken down when he had to sign his service papers. It was translated to "Galyard". This was so he would fit in more to Australian society. The 43rd Battalion that Gagliardi served in was one of the last South Australian battalions to be raised.

Gagliardi’s first war engagement was in 1917 in Messines. The attack was in Belgium against the Germans to try and stop them from going through Belgium and then advancing into France. The goal was to capture the town of Ypres since this was a German stronghold since 1914. Gagliardi was not harmed during the battle of Messines 

Gagliardi was treated in an army camp hospital for a week from the 31st of July 1917 to the 7th of August 1917. He was then transferred back to England by boat and admitted to Reading hospital on the 14th of August 1917.

Gagliardi had received a severe gunshot wound to the back. After 3 (10.11.17) months in hospital, Leonardo was transferred back to the western front via Southampton. He arrived in France on the 17th of November 1917. Gagliardi was then transferred back to a military base depot for training before returning to service. He then re-joined the battalion on the 4th of April 1918. After serving with the 43rd Battalion, Leonardo came home to Australia on the 26th of May 1919. 3 months later, on the 24th of August 1919, Leonardo was officially discharged from the AIF (Australian Imperial Forces). He returned to his home on Stewart street, Glanville, South Australia, where he continued to live with his mother.