Graham Holland LEAVER

Poppy

LEAVER, Graham Holland

Service Number: 2557
Enlisted: 2 August 1915, Keswick, South Australia
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Walkerville, South Australia, 5 September 1896
Home Town: Kensington Park, Burnside, South Australia
Schooling: St Peters College
Occupation: Student
Died: Killed In Action, Belgium, 20 September 1917, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Hooge Crater Cemetery
Memorials: Burnside District Fallen Soldiers' Memorial - Rose Park, Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll, Burnside & District - Fallen Soldiers Memorial Trees - Rose Park, Hackney St Peter's College Fallen Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

2 Aug 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2557, 27th Infantry Battalion, Keswick, South Australia
27 Oct 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Sergeant, SN 2557, 27th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '15' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Benalla embarkation_ship_number: A24 public_note: ''
27 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 10th Infantry Battalion, At Serapeum - to make up losses sustained at Gallipoli
30 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2557, 10th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières
30 Jul 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN 2557, 10th Infantry Battalion, Third Ypres
20 Sep 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion, Menin Road

AUFC & AUCC - Anzac Day 2015

Extract from the Adelaide University Football Club and Adelaide University Cricket Club document honouring "The Fallen" Anzac Day 2015.

Graham played for AUFC in 1915 and for AUCC for the 1914/1915 season. He was an Applied Science Student.

Graham enlisted on 2nd August 1915 as a member of the 6th reinforcements of the 27th Battalion and was transferred to the 10th Battalion on 28th February 1916. After attending the Officers Cadet Battalion he was finally commissioned and joined the 10th Battalion in France in February 1917. On 20th September 1917 during the Battle of Polygon Wood, the 10th Battalion’s advance was held up by a strong post holding 50 Germans and 3 machine guns. Graham was sent forward to aid members of the 11th Battalion in clearing this post but was killed. After the post was captured there were 40 dead enemy found in and around the post. Graham was buried in Hooge Crater Cemetery.

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Biography

From the book Fallen Saints 

Graham Holland Leaver of Kensington Park was born at Walkerville South Australia in September 1896. While at the School, he proved to be a fine student, an active member of the senior cadets for three years and a good sportsman who represented the School in inter-collegiate games.

These few lines, which appeared in an Adelaide newspaper on 13 October 1917, tell more about his sporting prowess. 

Letters received recently mentioned that at the Australian sports held in France he was successful in the 120 and 220 yards Sheffield championships, in addition to the quick-firing competition. [i]

After leaving school he studied mine engineering at Adelaide University and when he enlisted at Keswick on 2 August 1915, was a serving member of the 78th Infantry.

While in transit at the Exhibition Camp, Adelaide he was made a provisional corporal and after successfully completing an NCO Course at Mitcham Camp in August, joined the 6th quota of reinforcements for the 27th Battalion as an acting sergeant.

He sailed from Adelaide aboard the HMAT Benalla on 27 October and after reaching Egypt was transferred to the 10th Battalion at Serapeum at the end of February 1916. As was the case for most men with provisional rank, he reverted to his substantive rank on the day he joined the battalion.

Private Leaver proceeded to France with his unit aboard HMT Saxonia on 27 March 1916.

On 16 August, while the 10th Battalion were resting at Vadencourt Wood after Pozières, Private Leaver was sent to the School of Instruction at 1st Division’s Base Depot, Étaples.

In early October 1916, he joined No 4 Officer Cadet Battalion at Oxford, England and after graduating in January was attached to AIF HQ in London as a second lieutenant. Following ten days furlough in London he returned to France where he returned to the10th Battalion. He was promoted to Lieutenant at the beginning of June and later that month he attended 5th Army Sniping School and returned to the battalion on 8 July.

Lieutenant Leaver, was a platoon commander in one of two specially trained Storm Companies formed by the CO, Lieutenant Colonel Wilder-Neligan DSO, DCM, and so when the battalion encountered a pillbox on the morning of 20 September, he ordered Leaver to take his platoon forward and deal with it. With a brave German machine-gunner holding up the advance by raking the front of the 11th Battalion swift action needed to be taken so Lieutenant Leaver quickly got around behind the pillbox and was almost at the machine gun when a German with a revolver shot him in the head; only  a fortnight earlier Lieutenant Leaver celebrated his 21st birthday.

Corporal Hodge of the 11th Battalion rushed forward, shot the man with the revolver, captured the gun, and for his courageous action, later received the Distinguished Conduct Medal.



[i] Adelaide Chronicle, 13 October 1917, p. 40

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