Leonard Raymond (Windy) GALE

Poppy

GALE, Leonard Raymond

Service Number: SX8386
Enlisted: 9 July 1940
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Born: Adelaide, South Australia, 25 May 1920
Home Town: Adelaide, South Australia
Schooling: Gilles Street Public school, Adelaide, South Australia
Occupation: Storeman with Forward, Down and Company Ltd
Died: Killed in action, Tarakan, Tarakan, Borneo, 1 May 1945, aged 24 years
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide WW2 Wall of Remembrance, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
Show Relationships

World War 2 Service

9 Jul 1940: Involvement Private, SN SX8386
9 Jul 1940: Enlisted Adelaide, SA
9 Jul 1940: Enlisted Australian Military Forces (Army WW2), Private, SN SX8386, 2nd/48th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement

‘A Dinkum Digger to the End’

Allan William and Jane Emily Gale had four children, two daughters Thelma and Sylvia and two sons, Leonard and Cyril. Allan had been Private 6841 in WWI, serving with the 48th Battalion. Their first child and older son, Leonard Raymond (Len) was born in Adelaide on the 25th May, 1920. As a young 12-year-old, Len was unfortunate to have been knocked down by a car on the Port Road at Alberton, suffering a lacerated thigh. The injury to Len was severe enough for him to be taken to the Port Adelaide Casualty Hospital, and later to the Adelaide Hospital. It made for a good story at his Gilles Street Public school.
Post school Len initially worked as a labourer before becoming a storeman employed by engineering company, Forward, Down and Company Ltd., while also being a volunteer with the Militia from the age of 18. Then with the outbreak of WWII and having just turned 20, Len enlisted to serve in the Australian Infantry on the 9th July, 1940 in Adelaide. Initial time was spent at Wayville before the group undertook more intensive training at Woodside in the Adelaide Hills.
Len had pre-embarkation leave before boarding the Stratherden for the Middle East. He was allocated to the newly formed 2/48th Battalion as SX8386. This was of particular pride as his father had served with the 48th Battalion during WWI. Typically, because of his surname ‘Gale’ his affectionate nickname quickly became ‘Windy’. As history has revealed, conditions in the Middle East and for those at Tobruk were horrific, both physically and emotionally. First diagnosed with Tachycardia (an extremely fast heart beat) possibly caused by conditions of war causing his anxiety, Len was hospitalised in ’42. He then contracted sandfly fever followed by a series of being AWOL (Absent Without Leave). In the quite insanitary conditions where water was at a premium, Len next became infected with scabies, an irritating, contagious skin condition caused by tiny mites burying into his skin. More incidents of being AWOL and ‘prejudice to the conduct of military discipline’ reports followed later in 1942.
Finally, Len and the remainder of the 2/48th left Middle East in February ‘43 to return home via Melbourne, but he was again reinfested by scabies in May 43. Back in Australia Len continued to be caught going AWOL from Parade amongst other issues, resulting in his confinement, awaiting trial for which he was found guilty of each charge. This investigation was held at the ironically named ‘Kissing Point” Holding Centre. Receiving a severe pay deficit punishment, Len’s skills as a soldier were still required for the post Middle East phase of the war with Len moving from detention to the training grounds in Queensland in June ‘43.
However prior to leaving South Australia, while briefly back in Adelaide, Len proposed to Sheila May Stone, in a double engagement on March 25th 1944, with his brother Cyril, who had followed Len by enlisting in October ’41. (Cyril was also to serve with the 2/48th as part of a ‘top-up’ of the Battalion prior to going to New Guinea.) Cyril’s engagement was to Doreen Duell, also from Adelaide. (At that stage Cyril already had a stint in New Guinea.
Len then returned to service with the 2/48th , first undertaking jungle training in Queensland before heading for Tarakan in New Guinea. As did so many of his fellow soldiers, Len contracted Malaria in Feb 44 May and continued to be reinfected. By June ‘44 Len was again experiencing many issues with being AWOL followed by detention, trials forfeiture of pay and fines. He spent 12 months in New Guinea, and was posted to Borneo less than a month before his death.
John H. Glenn in ‘Tobruk to Tarakan’ described the conditions on the night Len was killed in action during the landing at Tarakan on May 1 1945, just days prior to his 25th birthday.
“Parks was soon taken, and Lieutenant Burke followed with 15 Platoon to take up positions on a feature some five hundred yards to the north. At 5:30pm, with the beachhead well established, the battalion dug in for the night. Spasmodic firing from an enemy 75 mm battery continued until midnight, Private L.R. Gale being killed and several others wounded.”
Initially Len was buried in the field before being reburied in the Tarakan War Cemetery in August ‘45 and now resting in the Labuan War Cemetery in Malaysia alongside SX7964 Diver Derrick VC who was killed on the 24th May ‘45. The inscription on Len’s headstone reads ‘His duty fearlessly and Nobly Done Ever Remembered Mum Dad Sisters and Brother’
Len was posthumously awarded the 39/45 Star and African Star, Pacific Star, Defence Medal, War Medal Australian Service Medal.
Younger brother, Cyril and Doreen later named their first child, a son, in Len’s memory. Family, his fiancée, Sheila, friends and fellow soldiers continued to remember and mourn the loss of the young Len.
Advertiser, Thursday 10 May 1945, GALE. —A tribute of remembrance to my -pal Pte. Len Gale, paid the supreme sacrifice May, 1945. A gallant soldier ever remembered. —Harold Ramsbottom. GALE. —In proud and loving memory of Len, who paid the supreme sacrifice May 1945. Not Just today, but every day. in silence we'll remember. —Ever remembered by Mr and Mrs. Ramsbottom and family.
Advertiser Friday 11 May 1945, GALE. —In proud and loving memory of our dear nephew. Len, who paid the supreme sacrifice. May 1. 1945. His smiling face and happy ways Will linger with us all our days Sadly missed by his aunties. Bell. Doris, May and Edna. GALE. —in loving tribute to Len. who lost his life in action. Borneo. May 1. 1945. His duty nobly done Inserted by Jack and Joyce Murrell GALE. —ln loving memory of Private Len Gale. A great sacrifice paid. May 1. 1945.—Ever remembered by Mr. and Mrs. Matthews.
Advertiser Saturday 12 May 1945, GALE. —In loving memory of Private Len Gale, who fell asleep in Borneo. A soldier and a man. —Inserted by his loving friends, Private and Mrs. Tester. GALE. —A loving tribute to Private Len Gale, who made the supreme sacrifice in Borneo. Always remembered. —Inserted by his pals, Skeat Press, Alf Ryan.
Advertiser Monday 14 May 1945, GALE. —In loving and proud memory of Len, who paid the supreme sacrifice on May 1, 1945, at Borneo. Too far away your grave to see, but not too far to think of thee. —Ever remembered, by brother Cyril and sister-in-law Doreen. GALE. —In loving memory of my darling Len who was killed in action in Borneo on May 1, 1945. When last I saw your smiling race you looked so bright and well; little did I think that was our last farewell. —Ever remembered by loving fiancée Sheila. GALE. —in loving memory of our dear friend, Len, who was killed in action at Borneo. Some day we will understand. — Always remembered by Max and Nance Bamford. GALE. —In proud memory of our dear friend, Len, who paid the supreme sacrifice on May 1, at Borneo. He was a dinkum digger to the end. —Inserted by Duell family. GALE—ln proud and loving memory of our dear friend, Lenny, who was killed in action at Borneo. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember him. —Ever remembered by Betty and May Duell.
Advertiser Wednesday 16 May 1945, GALE. —In proud memory of our friend Lenny, killed in Borneo May 1, 1945. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. —Mr. and Mrs. Taylor, Des and Joan.
Advertiser Friday 18 May 1945, GALE. SX8386. —ln loving memory of our darling son Len. paid the supreme) sacrifice on May I. 1945. at Borneo. A happy face, a cheery smile that we remember all the while. —Ever remembered and sadly missed by mum and dad. GALE. —In loving memory of dear Lenny, who paid the supreme sacrifice on May 1st Borneo. His smiling face and happy ways, linger with us all our days. —Ever remembered by Alice. Dave. Betty and Fay. GALE. —ln loving memory of my dear brother Len, killed in action May 1. at Borneo Deep in our hearts a memory is kept of a brother we loved and will never forget. —Ever remembered by Thelma and brother-in-law Gordon. GALE. —-In loving memory of mv dear brother. SX8386. Pte. Len. 2/48 Btn. To be with us in the same old way would be my dearest wish today. —Always remembered. Sylvia and Peter.
Advertiser Wednesday 1 May 1946, GALE. —In loving memory of our dear Len. who was killed in action at Tarakan May 1 1945. Many a lonely heartache, often a silent tear but always a beautiful memory of a son we loved so dear. GALE. —In loving memory of my brother Lenny who was killed at Tarakan May 1 1945. Just a token, true and tender to show dear Len I still remember. Ever remembered by Thelma and Gordon GALE. —In proud and loving memory of Len who was killed at Tarakan May 1 1945. Things have changed in many ways, but one thing changes never, the memory of happy days, when we were all together. Inserted by loving brother, Cyril (ex AIF), sister-in-law Doreen. GALE. —In loving memory of my loving fiancé, Len who was killed at Tarakan May 1 1945. I think of you in silence, I often speak your name, but all I have to answer is your photo in a frame. Ever remembered by Sheila. GALE. —In proud and loving memory of my dear brother Len, who was killed at Tarakan May 1 1945. Three little words Forget me not; they don’t seem much but mean a lot Inserted by his loving sister Sylvia and brother-in-law, Peter. GALE. —In memory of my friend Len, who passed away at Tarakan on May 1 1945. A pal never forgotten. Inserted by Max Whitters. GALE. —In loving memory of our dearest friend, Len, killed in action Tarakan, May 1st 1945. If all the world was ours to give, We’d give it, yes and more, To see your happy face, Come smiling at our door. Ever remembered Max and Nance. GALE In proud and loving memory of Len, killed in action at the landing of Tarakan, Borneo, May 1 1945. Not just today, but every day, In silence we remember. Inserted by Mr. and Mrs. Ramsbottom and family GALE. —ln fond memory of Len, who was killed in the landing at Tarakan, Borneo, May 1 1945. Just a simple token of respect, I show to a bloke that was a always a pal to me. Ever remembered by Harrold Ramsbottom.
Advertiser Friday 3 May 1946, GALE. —In proud and loving memory of our dear friend Lenny, killed in action May 1. 1945. A thought for today, a memory forever. —inserted by the Duel family.
Advertiser Thursday 1 May 1947, GALE—In loving memory of my dear brother Len, killed. May 1, 1945. Today recalls sad memories Of one I shall never forget —Ever remembered by his sister Sylvia, brother-in-law Peter. GALE. —In proud and loving memory of our dear brother and brother-in-law Len, killed in action on May 1, 1945. at the landing on Tarakan. There's a face that is always with us. There's a voice we would love to hear. There's a smile we will always remember. And a memory so precious and dear. —Ever remembered and sadly missed by Cyril, Doreen and baby Len. GALE—In loving memory of Len, who was killed at Tarakan. May 1, 1945. Time rolls on, but memories stay. —Ever remembered by Sheila. GALE. —In fond memory of my mate, "Windy" who gave his all at Tarakan, May 1, 1945. His smiling face and happy-go-lucky ways will always be with me. —Remembered always, Terry O'Connor. GALE. —In loving memory of our pal Len who was killed in action. May 1, 1945. We remember the way you spoke. The way you looked and smiled: The things you used to do and say Are with us all the while. —Ever remembered by Max. Nance and Barry. GALE. —In loving memory of Len, who was killed at Tarakan. on May 1, 1945. Deep In my heart a memory is kept Of one I loved and will never forget. —Ever remembered by sister Thelma and family. GALE. —In loving memory of our friend Lenny, who was killed at Tarakan, on May 1, 1945. He died as he lived— everyone's friend. —Inserted by Betty and May Duel. GALE.—In loving memory of our darling son Len. paid the supreme sacrifice on May 1. 1945. His cheerful ways and smiling face Are pleasant to recall. He had a smile for everyone And died beloved by all. —Always remembered and sadly missed by mum, dad.
Advertiser Monday 2 May 1949, GALE. —In loving memory of our son Len. k.i.a. May 1. 1945. Tarakan. Years may dawn and fade away. But memories of you will always stay. —Always remembered, mum and dad. GALE. —In memory of our dear pal Len. killed, May 1. Too far away your grave to see. But not too far to think of thee. —Remembered always by Max, Nance. GALE. —A tribute to a dear friend. A smiling face, a heart of gold, One of the best this world could hold. —Inserted by Betty and June GALE. —In loving memory of Len, k-i-a- May I. 1945. Sweetest memories, fond and true from one who thought the world of you. —Ever remembered by loving sister Sylv and Peter. GALE. —In memory of my dear brother Len. killed May 1, 1945. Tarakan. We loved him in life and love him yet. He’s ours to remember, when others forget. —Ever remembered by Thelma, Gordon. GALE. —In loving memory of my dear brother Len-k.i.a. Tarakan May 1 1945. In a soldier's grave in a foreign land Lies one we held so dear. A smiling face that didn't come home When they sounded the last all clear. He is sleeping with his comrades. In a hallowed grave unknown But his name is in golden letters In the hearts of those at home. —Ever remembered by Cyril and Doreen.
Len’s father, Allan died 13 years after Len on the 4th May 1958, aged 59. He and Jane are both buried at Centennial Park, Pasadena.
Researched and written by Kaye Lee, daughter of Bryan Holmes SX8133 2/48th Battalion.

Read more...
Showing 1 of 1 story