Frederick Neill (Freddy) LE MESSURIER DSO, MID*

LE MESSURIER, Frederick Neill

Service Numbers: Not yet discovered
Enlisted: 13 December 1940, Wayville, SA
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 1st Stationary Hospital (AIF)
Born: Semaphore, South Australia , 12 January 1891
Home Town: North Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: University of Adelaide (MBBS)
Occupation: Paediatrician, Army Medical Officer
Died: North Adelaide, South Australia, 20 May 1966, aged 75 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide Royal Adelaide Hospital WW1 Roll of Honour, Adelaide Treasurer and Chief Secretary Roll of Honour, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, Daw Park Repatriation Hospital Chapel Memorial Stained Glass Windows, Hackney St Peter's College Honour Board, Hackney St Peter's College WW2 Honour Roll, North Adelaide Baptist Church Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

5 Dec 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Captain, 1st Stationary Hospital (AIF), HMAT Kyarra, Melbourne
5 Dec 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, 1st Stationary Hospital (AIF), --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '23' embarkation_place: Melbourne embarkation_ship: HMAT Kyarra embarkation_ship_number: A55 public_note: ''

World War 2 Service

13 Dec 1940: Enlisted Wayville, SA

Help us honour Frederick Neill Le Messurier's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Annette Summers



Frederick Neill Le Messurier was born on the 12th January 1891, the youngest son of Alfred and Jane, nee Neill. The Le Messurier family came from Guernsey; Captain Peter Le Messurier and his wife Betsy came to South Australia in 1853 and he established a business as shipowner, agent and merchant. The business was expanded in coastal shipping by his sons Alfred and Ernest. Le Messurier was educated at St Peter’s College, where he excelled both academically and in sporting prowess. He played for the Port Adelaide Football Club during his last year. He was in the cadet corps rising to the rank of subaltern; he was the School captain in his last year and the top student. He was awarded a Blue for football in 1910. He studied medicine at the University of Adelaide and graduated in 1913 with first class honours.


Le Messurier joined 1 ASH as a captain on 7th October 1914. He was 5ft 6ins tall and weighed 150lbs. He travelled on the Kyarra to Egypt and subsequently to Lemnos (where he underwent an appendicectomy), Gallipoli and France. He was promoted to major in August 1916 and posted to 1AGH. Subsequent postings included 3 AAH, 13 FdAmb, 12 FdAmb and 48 Bn. He was Mentioned in Despatches of 7th April 1918. He was awarded the DSO which was gazetted on 7th November 1918, in recognition of his “conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He was continuously in the front line during both stages of an attack, assisting in collecting and arranging the prompt disposal of the wounded to the rear. He behaved splendidly, and by his untiring efforts and the complete disregard of his own safety he greatly assisted the brigade throughout.”  He was promoted to lieutenant colonel and again Mentioned in Despatches on 8th November 1918. He returned to Australia in December 1918 with his appointment terminated on the 14th February 1919. He was issued with the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal with Oak Leaves.


He took up a resident medical officer post at the Adelaide Children’s Hospital on return and a lifelong interest in paediatrics developed. He married Frieda Gwendoline James in the chapel of his old school in 1920 and they had one son. After a short period in general practice, in 1922 he was appointed to the post of Honorary Physician to the Mareeba Babies Hospital and in 1923 was joined by Dr Cyril Pitcher and Dr Helen Mayo. He subsequently was appointed an honorary assistant physician, and in 1926 honorary physician to the Adelaide Children’s Hospital. He was the lecturer in medical diseases of children and a member of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Adelaide for many years. He introduced lactic acid milk feeding of infants to Adelaide after a trip to St Louis (USA) in the mid-1920s. He practised as a specialist paediatrician and was the first to do so in Adelaide. He took a great interest in his old school and was the school doctor from 1927 until 1961. He served again in WW2 and was promoted to colonel and appointed commanding officer of 105 (Adelaide) Military Hospital in 1941 and remained in command until 1946. His task was to establish the unit and supervise the construction of what later became The Repatriation General Hospital on Daws Road. His personal contacts, including members of his family, were useful in obtaining building materials for the hospital. To make the hospital self sufficient and to provide a form of therapy staff and patients grew food and raised animals. Among his other achievements were the enclosures of eight sunrooms for the wards, the construction of a bowling green, bathing box and canteen. Gifted with a keen sense of humour, he inspired confidence, and could be considerate and kind. Frederick Neill Le Messurier died in Calvary Hospital, North Adelaide on the 20th May 1966, survived by his only son.


Blood, Sweat and Fears: Medical Practitioners and Medical Students of South Australia, who Served in World War 1. 

Verco, Summers, Swain, Jelly. Open Books Howden, Adelaide 2014. 

Uploaded by Annette Summers AO RFD