The AIF Project

Leslie Victor O'BRIEN

Regimental number4489
Place of birthAdelaide, South Australia
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressBroken Hill, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 3.75"
Weight124 lbs
Next of kinFather, John Patrick O'Brien, Police Barracks, North Terrace, Adelaide, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil (previously rejected for enlistment on account of teeth)
Enlistment date23 March 1916
Place of enlistmentBroken Hill, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name32nd Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 16 December 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll43rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 July 1918
Place of death or woundingHamel, France
Age at death25
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialCrucifix Corner Cemetery (Plot IX, Row D, Grave No. 21), Villers-Bretonneux, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Patrick John and Agnes Julia O'BRIEN, Anthony Street, Largs Bay, South Australia. Native of Adelaide, South Australia
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 16 December 1916, and appointed Acting Sergeant (Voyage Only); disembarked Devonport, England, 16 February 1917; marched in to 8th Training Bn, Hurdcott, 8 February 1917, and reverted to Private.

Appointed Extra Duty Pay Sergeant, 18 March 1917.

On Command Physical Training & Bayonet Fighting School, Chelsea, 21 May 1917; marched in to 8th Training Bn from PT&BF School, 12 June 1917.

On Command, NCOs School, Kandahar Barracks, Tidworth, 30 July 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 26 September 1917, and reverted to Private; taken on strength, 43rd Bn, in the field, 8 October 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 6 November 1917.

Appointed Temporary Corporal, 6 November 1917; reverted to Lance Corporal, 17 November 1917.

Detached to Brigade School, 18 November 1917, and appointed Acting Sergeant.

Rejoined Bn, in the field, 23 November 1917, and reverted to Lance Corporal.

Detached to Gas School, 20 January 1918; rejoined Bn, in the field, 27 January 1918.

On leave to England, 15 March 1918; rejoined Bn from leave, 4 April 1918.

Killed in action, 4 July 1918.

Note, Red Cross File No 2030311A: 'Buried 850 yards W of Hamel. Cert. by Capt. Speddings List'

Statement, 833 Sergeant T. COPE, 10 September 1919: 'He was killed at Hamel in July 1918. Buried just behind Hamel. I saw his grave with cross erected and name and number.'

Second statement, 3197 Pte D.J. MURPHY, 43rd Bn (patient, Tooting Grove Military Hospital, London, England), 23 January 1919: 'On July 4th 1918 at Hamel we were just lying out in front of the German wires, when a few of our own shells fell about and O'Brien was killed. I was hit at the same time - so did not see this casualty happen, but the boys told me afterwards. He used to work at a place called Broken Hill, (Silver Mines) New South Wales.' Note by interviewer: 'Reliable'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, O'BRIEN Leslie Victor
Red Cross File No 2030311A

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