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REID, Leslie Elliott (1898-1977)

REID, Leslie Elliott (1898-1977)

Born on 2 June 1898 at Cloncurry, Queensland, the son of Samuel Gamble Reid and Rosina Anne nee Ferguson, he was educated at Geelong College, entering in 1909 and leaving in 1916. He was in the 1st Football XVIII and the 1st Cricket XI in 1915-16, the Athletics team in 1914 and Athletics Captain in 1916, and 1st Rowing VIII in 1916. In his last year he also won the Geelong College Cup, and became a School Prefect.

He served in the Royal Field Artillery during the Great War, enlisting (No. 1182) as a Gunner with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF).

Pegasus of May 1918 quoted a letter from him:
'I thought I would drop you a few lines to wish the College the best of luck for 1918. You will see by the above that I am in a Cadet School, and with any luck should have my commission by March ... We are examined in a all sorts of things, eg Morse code, semaphore, horse management, gun drill, and many others, but the principle things are one's behaviour and confidence, for word of command, etc. It is a most important thing over here to have had a Public School education, so you will be able to tell any of the other boys who intend coming over here to train for commissions in the Imperial Forces ... We received The Pegasus after a long wait, I thought they must have gone down. I was sorry to hear that Edgar Philip had been killed, he was a fine chap ... Have been in London during five or six air raids. I think the old Hun is beginning to realise that it is a pretty costly game, as two or three Gothas seem to come to grief in each visit they pay us.'

He was awarded his commission.

He later wrote to the Headmaster and part of this letter was quoted in Pegasus of May 1919:
'You will note that I am still out in this cold, dreary country, but am expecting to be sent for demobilisation at any minute now. I am lucky in not having to do a year's 'Army of Occupation' on the Rhine, as most others in the BEF will have to do, as I come under the Repatriation order. I am at present billeted at Tinbot, a small village about 20 kilos from Liege, and am having quite an enjoyable time, as there is very little to do. We have lost most of our horses, and I cannot say that I am in the very least sorry to bid them farewell, as each man had about ten horses to look after. ... The Belgians gave us a great welcome, especially at Lille and Brussels, where the English and Canadian troops were reviewed.'

Leslie Elliott served in the 2nd AIF during the Second World War, with the 2nd Division Australian Army Service Corps.

Sources: Based on an edited extract from Geelong Collegians at the Great War compiled by James Affleck. p289 (citing The Pegasus).
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