Leslie Francis Raybould

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Dudley, Worcestershire, England, United Kingdom

General information

Sailor - Merchant Navy

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Moore Park, Sydney, South Wales, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 56th Bn.  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
Glencorse Wood, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Leslie was born in Dudley, Worcestershire in 1897. Prior to enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force, Leslie worked as a sailor. According to a passenger list from October 1914, Leslie, 17, was a 2nd Steward on the Paloona, a passenger/cargo ship of the Union Steam Ship Company of New Zealand Ltd., sailing between Hobart, Tasmania and Sydney, New South Wales.

Leslie enlisted in Sydney in March 1916, a couple of weeks before turning 19. He falsely stated that both his parents were deceased. Volunteers younger than 21 needed a written permission of their parents or their guardian before they could enlist.

By December 1916 he served in the 56th Battalion Australian Infantry, part of the 14th Brigade, of the 5th Australian Division. From September 1917 onward the 5th Division participated in the Battle of Passchendaele. On 26 September it was to advance through Polygon Wood.

In the night of the 22nd on the 23rd the 56th Battalion moved into the frontline between the Nonne Bosschen, Glencorse Wood and Polygon Wood. It suffered a few casualties, due to German shelling. The officer commanding “C” Company of the 56th Battalion, which was in the first line, reported no machine-gun fire and very little sniping. He did had one man killed by a sniper in the morning.

This man was, 20-year-old, Leslie Francis Raybould. Leslie was hit in the throat, when he looked over the parapet. He died after being unconscious for 20 minutes and was buried in Glencorse Wood. Leslie’s grave might have gone lost in the further fighting or his remains weren’t identified, as he is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial.

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