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GRACE, Leslie Ernest (1881-1954)

GRACE, Leslie Ernest (1881-1954)

Leslie Ernest Grace was born in Geelong on 14 August 1881, one of seven children born to William Pepperell Grace (1841-1926) and Harriett Effie Burton (1841-1865).

He was educated at Geelong College, entering in 1891. His address at entry was Coronation St, Geelong.

Although listed in Pegasus as having served in World War I, there appears to be no record of his service, either in the Imperial Army or the Australian Imperial Force (AIF), although Pegasus mentions Home Service. He may possibly have served in the Canadian Army.

Correspondence held by Archives New Zealand includes a request dated 22 March 1951 for information about the war service of Leslie Ernest Grace. The application recorded the following statement from Leslie Grace:
'Graces states that he joined the third Westralian Bushmen at Perth in October 1900, served in South Africa, was wounded and was discharged in February 1902. His rank was Senior Lieutenant and his number was 3WB3016

Grace came to Canada in 1905 and became a teacher in the province of Manitoba. He enlisted in the Canadian Forces in 1914 and gave as his next-of-kin, his father W P Grace of Coronation St, Geelong, Victoria, and his wife Victoria May, or Mildred, Grace.

The Veterans Allowance Board are also checking on the legality of his present marriage and would be glad to learn if you have any record of this woman. It is possible, for instance, that she was listed as next of kin when he enlisted for the Boer War. Unfortunately nothing is known about Victoria May Grace except that she was probably a member of the Christian Science sect.'
The reply from Central Army Records Office, Albert Park Barracks, Melbourne stated that thry were unable to identify Leslie Grace in the records of the South African War.

He is also alleged to have married Bessie Margaret Turner (1882-1931).

He died at Winnipeg, Manitoba in June 1954.

His brothers, Sidney John Grace (1866-1960 and Frank Cavanegh Grace (1875-1958), were also day students at Geelong College.

Sources: Archives New Zealand Series B441 Barcode 682125; Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. p201 (citing Pegasus; National Archives of Australia).

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