We are working on a searchable database of every soldier who is now commemorated as a result of an investigation by The Headstone Project South Australia.
Please bear with us as we develop this complex project. In the meantime, should you have a query about any World War 1 soldier, nurse or sailor who you believe may lie in an unmarked grave in South Australia, please get in touch.
Leslie Thomas Simpson, of Port Pirie, during his initial training at Mount Gambier. Subsequently he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery and was promoted to Lance Corporal.
A short biography of one of our soldiers
As an outcome of our research we write a short biography, and where possible obtain a photograph, to include in the Order of Service for each veteran's dedication ceremony.
Leslie Thomas Simpson was born on 15 August 1882 in Port Pirie to Thomas Simpson and Mary, née Leviton. He was a labourer before he enlisted on 5 September 1914 at Morphettville. He embarked from Hobart on 20 October 1914 on transport ship A2, Geelong.
Leslie served with the 12th Infantry Battalion and saw action in France and Belgium. He was wounded in action on 20 September 1917 and 1 June 1918. During the second Battle of Bullecourt in May 1917, Leslie was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field, together with a comrade, while on stretcher-bearer duties. The citation read:
“On 4th to 8th May 1917 in operations east of Bullecourt, as stretcher bearers were untiring in attending to wounded men and carrying them back to RAP (Regimental Aid Post) under intense fire. On one occasion when in the front line they picked up rifles and displayed great gallantry in repelling a counter-attack, preventing a number of wounded being captured.”
Leslie was discharged on 31 January 1919 in Australia. His brother, Albert Simpson, also returned after serving with the 9th Light Horse Infantry from 30 November 1914.
Leslie never married. He died on 27 June 1928, aged 45 years. We have not been able to trace any of his wider family and know nothing of his post-war life except that he came to be laid in an unmarked grave. For what he gave to his country we honour him.