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Moorhouse, Leslie James (1886–1916)

Leslie James Moorhouse, n.d. photographer unknown

Leslie James Moorhouse, n.d. photographer unknown

from Bank of NSW Roll of Honour

LESLIE JAMES MOORHOUSE was born on 29th October, 1886, at Echuca, Victoria, his parents being Mr. Henry and Mrs. Louisa Agatha Moorhouse. He received his education at the State School and Grammar School, Echuca, and joined the service of the Bank at that town on 3rd December, 1903, being transferred to Mansfield as ledger-keeper on 20th June, 1908; to Urana, as assistant, on 15th August, 1910; to Head Office on 18th October, 1912; and to Parramatta, as ledger-keeper, on 26th November, 1912.

Leslie James Moorhouse enlisted as a private in the A.I.F. on 4th January, 1915, and entered the Broadmeadows Camp, Victoria, where he was eventually promoted to the rank of sergeant on 2nd March, and to second-lieutenant on 24th March, embarking with his company, the 5th Reinforcements of the 14th Battalion, 4th Brigade, from Port Melbourne, on 17th April, 1915, en route for Egypt, where he spent some three weeks.

He took part in the attacks on the Turks at Suvla Bay and Anzac, and was seriously wounded on 8th August, 1915. He was sent to a hospital in London, and on his recovery returned to Egypt on 20th December, 1915, being then transferred to the 46th Battalion on its formation in Egypt. He was on duty along the Suez Canal and at Tel-el-Kebir for five months, during which time he was promoted to the rank of first-lieutenant.

In June, 1916, he was sent to France and took part in the great Somme Push and in serious actions near Ypres. He was promoted to the rank of captain on 15th July, 1916. On the 1st of the following October Leslie James Moorhouse, together with four of his men, was killed instantaneously by an enemy shell, shortly after their return from a successful raid on the enemy’s trenches.

His temporary commanding officer, Major H. K. Denham, writing of him to Mr. Henry Moorhouse, said: —

“It is with much regret that I have to write you upon such an occasion—but feel that you would like to know that your son had done good work for King and Country and that such work had been appreciated. I am his Temporary Commanding Officer and for the last seven months have been in close touch with him and his work—he was always thorough and I felt that any work left in his hands would be faithfully carried out. He was selected for this special bit of work and played his part in a way which did him credit; the work was completed very successfully—a raid on the enemy’s trench—and after he had returned with his party to our own trench, a chance shell exploded near him, and much to our regret we found that he and four others had stepped across the line which separates the known from the unknown. It was instantaneous and without suffering—and he now lies in a quiet spot amidst several others—the spot is marked by a cross which bears his name and later on you will be able to ascertain the exact spot through the Military Authorities. I have spoken to higher authority about your son and hope his name will be mentioned in despatches. Believe me when I say that the Battalion joins with you in mourning his loss.”

Brigadier-General Duncan Glassford, commanding the 12th Australian Infantry Brigade, said: —

“I write to tell you how very sorry we were to lose your son Captain Moorhouse of the 46th Battalion, who was killed in the trenches recently. He had just taken part in a successful raid, when the enemy’s trenches were entered, and prisoners and valuable information were secured. After his return to our trenches he stayed behind the remainder of the party to complete some details, and was killed by a German shell which unfortunately breached the parapet just where he was standing, He was a very careful and thorough officer and had already made his mark and distinguished himself. I hope it may be some satisfaction to you to know that he had done so well and that he was killed doing his duty.”

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Citation details

'Moorhouse, Leslie James (1886–1916)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/moorhouse-leslie-james-24316/text33063, accessed 28 October 2020.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Leslie James Moorhouse, n.d. photographer unknown

Leslie James Moorhouse, n.d. photographer unknown

from Bank of NSW Roll of Honour