Leslie Francis Strang MATHER DSO, MID


MATHER, Leslie Francis Strang

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 25 August 1914, Melbourne, Victoria
Last Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Last Unit: 5th Divisional Engineers
Born: Melbourne, Victoria, 30 June 1888
Home Town: Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria
Schooling: Melbourne University
Occupation: Mechanical engineer
Died: Suicide, France, 23 January 1919, aged 30 years
Cemetery: Solre-le-Chateau Communal Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

25 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, Melbourne, Victoria
18 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 1st Field Company Engineers, HMAT Afric, Sydney
18 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 1st Field Company Engineers, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 1st Field Company Engineers, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
23 Jul 1916: Honoured Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, Battle for Pozières
2 Jan 1917: Honoured Mention in Dispatches
12 Mar 1918: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 5th Divisional Engineers
31 Dec 1918: Honoured Mention in Dispatches
23 Jan 1919: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel, 5th Divisional Engineers
31 Jan 1919: Honoured Mention in Dispatches

Help us honour Leslie Francis Strang Mather's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Elizabeth Allen

Leslie Francis Strang MATHER was born on 30th June, 1888 in Victoria

His parents were John MATHER and Jessie Pines BEST who married on 15th September, 1882 in Williamstown, Victoria

He had previous military service with the Royal Australian Engineers before he enlisted for WW1

Leslie married in Nice, France on 30th December, 1918 to Marcelle Elizabeth Annie ARNULPHY

Leslie was awarded the DSO for "Conspicuous bravery at Pozieres, 23rd July, 1916" and also Mentioned in Despatches 3 times

"For conspicuous gallantry & consistent good work since the commencement of the campaign and until he was wounded leading his Company into action under heavy shell fire"

He was also awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal & the Victory Medal

Leslie died on 23rd Janary, 1919 at Pozieres, France - his name is memorialised on the Australian War Memorial


"Leslie F. Mather of the Royal Australian Engineers (DSO) son of the late Mr. John Mather, the well known artist and Mrs. Mather of South Yarra, has announced his engagement to Mademoiselle Marcelle Arnulphy, daughter of Dr B S Arnulphy of Paris and Nice.  His fiancee is 20 years of age and a clever musician.  She was finishing her musical education in Germany when war was declared and met the Australian soldier soon after he arrived in France on military service. Colonel Mather was born in 1888.  Prior to joining the Australian Imperial Force he held the rank of Lieutenant in the Royal Australian Engineers.  He took part in the Gallipoli campaign as Lieutenant and was afterward promoted to Captain. On September 6, 1916 while serving with the 1st Field Engineers, Colonel Mather was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for having led his company under heavy shell fire until wounded.  He was also mentioned in despatches by Sir Douglas Haig two months later. His promotion to his present rank was gazetted on March 12 of this year. Colonel Mather is now attached to the demobilisation staff in London." - from the Melbourne Argus 04 Jan 1919 (nla.gov.au) (nla.gov.au) (nla.gov.au)



A brilliant Australian officer, Leiutenant Colonel Leslie Mather, son of the late John Mather, the well known victorian artist died of illness in France shortly after the cessation of hostilities  and a few weeks after his marriage to a young French lady.  As Lieutenant to the 1st Field Company Australian Engineers he landed at Anzac on April 25, 1915 and remained at Gallipoli almost up to the day of evacuation.  In March of last year he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and a fortnight later was appointed to the command of the Royal Engineers, 5th Australian Division. This appointment he held until the signing of the Armistice. He served in France and Flanders from early in 1916 and was wounded during the Somme Battle in 1916. On September 22, 1916 he was awarded the DSO "for conspicious gallantry & good work" and on November 13 he was mentioned in despatches by Sir Douglas Haig for distinguished & gallant conduct." - from the Melbourne Argus 07 Apr 1919 (nla.gov.au) (nla.gov.au) (nla.gov.au)