Name: Leo King
Service Number: 955
Units Served: 10th Battalion
Personal Details: Leo King was born in June 1892 in Balhannah to parents William James and Mary King. He was the youngest of 8 children, with 2 sisters; May Victoria and Laurina, and 5 brothers; William John Anthony, Thomas Henry, Robert Henry, John and Gilbert.
Leo grew into a 5 ft 8 inch young man with fair complexion, blue eyes and auburn hair and weighed in at 130 lbs. Before enlisting he worked as a Railway Porter and was a member of the Lameroo Rifle Club.
Enlistment Details: On September 2nd 1914 Leo enlisted in the A.I.F at Morphettville. He was 22 years and 3 months old when he enlisted.
Military Service: On the 20th of October 1914 Leo King along with the rest of his 10th Battalion left Outer Harbour aboard the H.M.A.T. A11 “Ascanius”. The first stop for the ship was on 25th October in Fremantle to pick up more troops before travelling on to Colombo, Ceylon, reaching port on the 1st of November. The final stop before reaching his final destination was in Aden, Yemen on the 25th of November where the boat picked up fresh water and coal before making it to Alexandria, Egypt around mid December 1914.
Leo then spent the next few months training in preparation for the landing at Gallipoli. It is not clear whether Leo took part in the landing at Gallipoli but on the 20th of June 1915 Leo was admitted to hospital in Alexandria with Gonorrhoea. Two days later he was transferred to Cairo for further treatment and remained in hospital until on the 15th of August 1915 when he finally rejoined his battalion in Gallipoli.
But Leo’s time on Gallipoli would be short lived with him once again finding himself in hospital. On the 10th of September he was taken aboard the hospital ship H.S. “Gascon” and admitted with Enteric Fever. That same day the H.S. “Gascon” embarked to take all the sick and injured to a hospital in Malta. Six days later Leo found himself safely in the Malta hospital but his condition did not improve and on the 23rd of September he was reported to be dangerously ill. It took until the 12th November for Leo to recover enough to be declared out of danger but he was still showing signs of Enteric Fever so was transferred by the H.S. “Morea” to the 3rd Southern General Hospital in Oxford, England. He was admitted to the English hospital on the 15th of November and remained there for another 3 and ½ months.
On the 10th March 1916 Leo was finally well enough to be discharged and was taken back on strength to the 10th Battalion. It took until the 25th of May for Leo to finally reach the 10th Battalion in Abbey Wood, France. For the next 3 months Leo fought alongside the rest of his 10th Battalion and the 3rd Brigade until on the 21st of August 1916 he was killed in action during the attack of Mouquet farm.
Date of Death: 21/08/1916
Age at Death: 24 years 2 months
Memorial Details: Villers – Bretonneux Memorial