Serial No. 2766
35th Battalion & 3rd Battalion
Leon Bell - Information
Leon was working as a drug warehouseman in Balmain when he enlisted at the age of 23. He joined up in Sydney on the 13th of November 1916. He had previously worked on orchards in the Campbelltown area. During training, he was posted as a Private to the 6th Reinforcements, 35th Battalion at Liverpool Camp. Leonâs unit then left Sydney for service overseas just a few days later on the 25th of November. Leon travelled on the HMAT Beltana, landing at Devonport in England in January 1917.
Leon and the other reinforcements then received further training at Larkhill Camp located near Salisbury Plains. On the 22nd of May, Leon left Southampton for France to reinforce the 3rd Battalion. Leon met the Battalion at the Rouen Depot in June, as they were preparing for operations against the Germans in Belgium. The 3rd Battalion took up positions in the Ypres Sector. During attacks at Broodseinde on the 4th of October, Leon was shot in his left arm. He was quickly evacuated to the Military Hospital in Devonport on the 11th of October. After initial treatment, he was admitted to the 3rd Auxiliary Hospital at Hurdcott in November.
Leon proceeded back to the frontlines in France via Folkestone on the 3rd of January 1918. At the time, the Allies were organising a new attack, but were surprised when the Germans launched their own. On the 21st of March they broke through the stalemate capturing ground that had cost so much blood in 1916 and 1917. Halting their advance, the Allies slowly pushed back. Success arose following the Battle of Amiens on the 8th of August, leading to victory. After hostilities ceased on the 11th of November 1918, Leon was still serving with the 3rd Battalion in France, and was appointed Lance Corporal on the 4th of April 1919. He left Southampton for Australia on the 6th of July on the Boorara, arriving in Sydney in August.