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Leonard John Banfield


18th Battalion


Leonard John Banfield - Information

Leonard John Banfield was born in Cobbitty on the 25th of July 1875. He married his sweetheart Mary Bridget in Young in 1896, and settled on Aldire on Melville St in Ryde. Leonard and Mary had several children including Mary Leonora, John Darcy, Nellie Lillian and Marjery Alberta. Leonard had attended school in Dapto, and then obtained a 2A Certificate from the Department of Public Instruction. He began supporting his family working as a public school teacher. At the same time, he was gaining military experience having served in the Woollahra Infantry Militia for 8 years. After the war commenced, Leonard applied for a Commission in the AIF on the 24th of June 1915. He was 39 years old. Immediately accepted, he was appointed Captain in command of a Company within the 18th Battalion. Remarkably, he was shipped out the following day, embarking Sydney on the HMAT Ceramic.

Leonard landed in Egypt, and quickly joined the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on Gallipoli in mid August. When he and the 18th Battalion arrived, they were put into action during the August Offensives at Hill 60. During these operations, many members of the Battalion were killed, including Leonard who fell on the 22nd of August. He had only been there about a week. Leonard’s body was lost in the upheaval of a most horrendous battle. His name was later recorded on the Lone Pine Memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province in Turkey. Sadly, Leonard left behind Mary and his children.