Walter Leonard East
Service Number: 474
Units Served: 10th Battalion
Personal Details: Walter Leonard East was born on 28th September 1894 at Adelaide, South Australia, to Charlotte Rann. His father is not named on his birth certificate but Charlotte married Henry East within a year of his birth and while probably not officially adopted, Henry took on the role as Walter's father.
Walter was a gardener. He was a member of the Citizens Forces for two years. He had blue eyes, fair hair and was 5 foot, 6inches tall.
Enlistment Details: Walter enlisted at Morphettville on 24th September 1914, joining the 10th Battalion one of the first infantry units raised for the AIF since the First World War was declared in August 1914. Walter embarked on 20th October 1914 from Adelaide on All “Ascanius”.
Details of his role in the war: Recruited in South Australia, the 10th Battalion joined with the 9th, 11th and 12th Battalions to form the 3rd Brigade. Stopping briefly in Western Australia the 10th Battalion arrived in Egypt early December. Embarked to Gallipoli 2nd March 1915.
Together with more than 20,000 Australian and New Zealanders, and other servicemen from other countries .an attack was planned for dawn 25th April 1915, the 10th Battalion, part of the 3rd Brigade were the Landing party.
Boatloads of soldiers from the 3rd Brigade were bought close inshore, landing in the water, under enemy fire. Across an exposed beach, facing a steep cliff, it was their task to drive the Turkish into the hills. They faced strong opposition. Amongst the death, nobility, valour and sacrifice the 3rd Brigade established and defended the front line.
On May 15th 1915 a war diary notes the weather was fine and overcast. The 10th Battalion faced heavy shelling and infantry activity from direction of Olive Groves. Walter was killed.
Age at Death: 20years 3 months 15 days
Memorial Details: Buried towards head of gully near Anzac.
Exhumed and reburied Lone Pine Cemetery, Anzac.
War Memorial: Verge Adelaide to Lobethal Road,
Lenswood Uniting Church, Lenswood, Park
Renaming of town: In 1917 local residents of Jerry’s Flat, their home town, changed the town’s name to Lenswood memorialising the Lens battlefield where the ‘Range boys’ fought.
“2 of my boys are dead the oldest and the next one”, wrote their mother Charlotte in a letter to the AIF in October 1916