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Leslie Ernest Mulhall

Rank:
Private

Serial No:
Serial No. 6129

Regiment:
18th Battalion

Suburb:
Picton


Leslie Ernest Mulhall - Information

When Leslie decided to enlist in the AIF, he was living with a friend, Jim Burns, on Wild St in Picton. Leslie came to the area from Sydney where he was born and found work as a horse driver. At 18 years of age, he signed up on the 31st of July 1916 at the Royal Australian Showground. Leslie trained in Cootamundra, assigned to the 17th Reinforcements, 18th Battalion as a Private. He was then shipped out from Sydney on the 25th of October 1916 onboard the HMAT Ascanius.

Leslie stepped off the ship in Devonport, England in late December, and was taken to the 5th Training Battalion in Rollestone. In February 1917, he proceeded to France, joining his unit on the 8th of March in the lines. At the time, the 18th Battalion were chasing the Germans to the Hindenburg Line, a new fortified trench system. They attacked it, participating in the Second Battle of Bullecourt on the 3rd of May. On this day, shell shrapnel badly sliced Leslie’s scalp. He was treated at the 5th General Hospital in Rouen and evacuated to England at the end of the month. After he fully recovered, he returned to France in July. He rejoined his unit as they were positioned for operations in Flanders in Belgium. The Third Battle of Ypres commenced on the 31st of July with the 18th Battalion playing a significant role. Here, Leslie was badly wounded on the 4th of October at Broodseinde, when a shell blast fractured his skull. The 3rd Field Ambulance took him to the 16th General Hospital in Le Treport. A week later, he was evacuated back to England. The shrapnel caused significant damage with the fracture, resulting in his right eye being removed. Blind in one eye and suffering from brain damage, Leslie spent a long time in recovery. He was finally sent back to Australia in May 1919. Sadly, Leslie found it difficult to return to his civilian life, especially as a horse driver with no depth perception and limited peripheral vision.

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