Leslie George William GARDNER


GARDNER, Leslie George William

Service Numbers: 794A, 794, 794B
Enlisted: 8 November 1917
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 3rd Machine Gun Battalion
Born: Merimbula, New South Wales, Australia, July 1890
Home Town: Maleny, Sunshine Coast, Queensland
Schooling: Not yet discovered
Occupation: Farmer
Died: SW face & back, Etinehem, France, 22 August 1918
Cemetery: Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery
Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery (Plot VIII, Row E, Grave No. 10), Fouilloy, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Brisbane Grammar School Memorial Library WW1 Honour Board 1, Caloundra Shire of Landsborough WW1 Roll of Honour, Maleny Soldiers' Memorial Hospital Roll of Honor
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World War 1 Service

8 Nov 1917: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 794A, 12th Machine Gun Company
26 Nov 1917: Involvement Private, SN 794, 12th Machine Gun Company
26 Nov 1917: Embarked Private, SN 794, 12th Machine Gun Company, SS Indarra, Melbourne
21 Jun 1918: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 3rd Machine Gun Company
22 Aug 1918: Involvement Private, SN 794B, 3rd Machine Gun Battalion

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Today, it is with deep gratitude that I would like to honor the memory of a young Australian, a young man who came from the other side of the world and who fought here, in France, on the battlefields on which I walk today with respect, in his footsteps and in the footsteps of all his brothers in arms who came with the valiant heart and courage of a whole nation with whom we have built, in the trenches and the battlefields of the Somme, a very strong and deep friendship, I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Private number 794/B Leslie George William Gardner who fought in the 3rd Battalion of the Australian Machine Gun Corps and who was killed in action 102 years ago,on August 22, 1918 at the age of 28 on the Somme front.

Leslie George William Gardner was born in 1890 in Merimbula, New South Wales and was the son of William Francis and Geffie Gardner, of John Street, Windsor, Brisbane, Queensland. Before the outbreak of the war, Leslie was single and lived in Maleny via Landsborough, Queensland, he was a member of the Maleny Rifle Club and worked as a farmer.

Enlisted on April 24, 1917 in Brisbane, Queensland in Machine Gun Company 12 of the Australian Machine Gun Corps, Reinforcement 15, he embarked with his unit from Melbourne, Victoria, on board SS Indarra on November 26, 1917 and sailed for Egypt and was disembarked in Suez the following month, on December 27, then he embarked with his battalion from Port Said on board the "Kashgar" on January 9, 1918 for Taranto, Italy, where he arrived on January 20 and received his training then he embarked on board the "Kenas Queen" on 31 January for England and was disembarked on 7 February and joined the 15th Training Battalion and received further training at Cedford then Grantham and embarked with his unit from Folkestone on June 18, 1918 for France.Leslie was disembarked in France the next day, June 19, 1918, and was sent with his unit to the Somme front.

Unfortunately, two months later, after having fought with great bravery, it was in the Somme that Leslie met his destiny. On the morning of August 22, 1918, at 6:00 a.m., during an attack in Etinehem, while he was on his machine gun, the Germans opened fire with their artillery for a barrage to stop the Australian advance, Leslie received a shrapnel in the face and in his back and was killed immediately, he was 28 years old.

Today, Leslie George William Gardner rests in peace with his comrades and brothers in arms at Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery and his grave bears the following inscription "His country called he answered, now in God's hands he rests".

Leslie, it is from the bottom of my heart that on this day I want to say thank you, not just for having fought and served with bravery on the battlefields that saw so many of your brothers, your friends be mowed down by machine gun bullets but also for the youth and your life that you sacrificed for us, for the young people who live today in the peace for which you have answered the call of duty and for which you have fought days and nights in the hell of the battlefields of France, in the Somme which will be eternally grateful to you and which will always honor your memory with the greatest respect, you will always have a very big place in our hearts and a very great admiration for the men that you were, for all that you have done for us who have the chance to live without war, without being afraid of the next day and to enjoy life on this land of France which has seen so much fury, pain and blood shed by thousands of brave men like you Leslie who left their countries, their homes, the Australian sun for a uncertain future and who in the trenches hoped to return home and who gave their lives for the hope of a better world and that's what you gave us Sir, but I don't forget that to live in this peace, many young men like you fell, and who have as their last home, a white grave who are flowered by poppies and roses in front of which we bow with respect and devotion so that you will never be forgotten and to honor the memory of each of you who gave so much for us, today it is by learning from the past, by learning from you that we are building the future so that generations of young men will never again know the hell of war, we will protect the legacy you passed on to us by watching over you, over your graves that we will always bloom and take care of with love and devotion. you will never be forgotten.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.your memory will never fade.