Leslie Joseph Coleman
Serial No. 14929
1st Division Signal Company
Leslie Joseph Coleman - Information
Leslie Joseph was a son of Otho Vigers and Louisa Ellen Coleman.68 Otho Vigers worked as a storekeeper in Camden, while he and Louisa were residing on Argyle St. Here, they were blessed with many children, including Leslie born in Camden on the 18th of August 1893. Leslie grew up in the area and served 2 years in the Senior Cadets. He then acquired employment as a commercial traveller. His permanent address remained in Camden, however, he often stayed with his older brother, Otho Roy, known as Roy, on Park Rd in Auburn. When Leslie was 22, he and Roy decided to enlist in the AIF together. They signed up within days of each other at the Royal Showground Camp in Moore Park, Sydney. Leslie volunteered on the 22nd of February 1916, and was shortly transported as a Sapper to the 2nd M & D Depot along with his brother. Leslie was then posted to the 20th Reinforcements, 1st Division Signal Company in mid July. Before they left for war, Leslie and Roy were given a farewell party at Foresters’ Hall in Camden in May. They and other local boys were thanked and wished good luck, as they were presented with a gold wrist watch. Leslie departed Sydney Harbour onboard the HMAT Mashobra on the 14th of September 1916.
Disembarking in Plymouth in early November, Leslie was marched out to No. 3 Camp at Parkhouse. Prepared for trench warfare, Leslie departed Folkestone for France in February 1917. He was then taken on strength to the 1st Australian Division Signal Company in Abbeville. He was then attached to the 2nd Field Artillery Brigade, where he provided communications between units and Headquarters for artillery responses. On the 29th of October 1917, Leslie was wounded when his unit was caught in a gas attack during the Third Battle of Ypres. Requiring a lengthy recuperation, he remained in hospital until the new year. Leslie returned to the frontlines in early January 1918. He was then transferred to the Australian Corps Signal Company, and was appointed Driver a few weeks later. Leslie survived the war, and remained with his unit until he was shipped back to England. Heading for Australia in June 1919, he was subsequently discharged from military service in September.