• Leslie Ernest Vanselow

Army / Flying Corps
  • 22nd Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 5th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 6th Brigade
  • 2nd Brigade
  • Lance Corporal

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  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Enlistment - WW1

    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

  • Birth

    West Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Stories and comments
    • VANSELOW, Leslie Ernest
    • Posted by FrevFord, Thursday, 15 March 2018

    Leslie was born on the 5th of September 1898 at West Melbourne – the son of Ludwig Francis VANSELOW and Elizabeth Ann DAVIES, who married in Vic in 1878 Residents of 19 Chatham Rd, Canterbury, Vic, in 1916 Ludwig died in 1923 at Canterbury, aged 71 and Elizabeth died in 1931 at Rosedale, aged 73 Siblings: Francis Thomas b.&d.1881 (6D); Ada Elizabeth b.1882 – marr DUCK – d.1952; Florence Hermoine Livinia b.1884; Albert Herman Willis b.1885 – d.1972; Walter Frederick b.1888 – d.1954; Grace Winifred b.1891 – marr BAIN; Arthur Ludwig b.1894 – Bank Clerk – WW1: L/Cpl 5923, 22nd Bn – marr Emily Lorna THOMAS 14/6/1919 Richmond – d.1970; Religion: Church of England Served with the Senior Cadets – 4 years; Citizen Forces (21st and 19th Engineers) – for 2 months prior to enlisting Occupation: Junior Telegraphist WW1: Leslie enlisted in the A.I.F. at Melbourne on the 7/9/1916, 2 days after his 18th birthday Embarked in Melbourne on the A20 Hororata 23/11/1916 as Private 7093 with the 23rd Reinforcements of the 5th Battalion, and disembarked at Plymouth on the 29/1/1917 Admitted sick to the Manchester Military Hospital 10/2/1917 and discharged to the 2nd Training Battalion, Durrington on the 1/3/1917 Proceeded overseas to France on the 25/4/1917, and joined the 5th Bn in the field 18/5/1917 He was transferred to the 22nd Bn on the 6/6/1917, possibly by request, as his older brother Arthur was serving in that Unit Appointed Lance Corporal 31/10/1917 Reported missing on the 18/8/1918 during an attack near Herleville From the Unit History –“With the Twenty-Second” (p.103): “On the extreme left, ‘B’ Company suffered severely. Under the command of Lieut. H.W. Westaway, ……….., they set out, thirty-three strong, through heavy artillery and machine-gun fire. Most of them became casualties before reaching their objective, but those who arrived there joined forces in a large shell-hole within fifty yards of the enemy and opened fire with a Lewis gun and rifle grenades. The gun was soon knocked out of action by a bomb and the grenades expended. ………. Neither the flares nor the S.O.S. signal sent up for artillery support were responded to, and the enemy worked closer, firing a machine gun and grenades into the now defenceless garrison of the shell-hole. Lieut. Westaway and several men were killed and most of the others were wounded before being surrounded by the enemy.” Red Cross Wounded and Missing file: “The undermentioned Officer, N.C.O.’s and men [5 altogether] were surrounded in a shell hole in our advance on August 18th 1918 when our section of the line was held up and taken prisoners.” [Witness: Pte P Inchbold, 4468] One of those taken prisoner, Leslie had received wounds to the left thigh, right temple and left eye, resulting in loss of sight in both eyes, and was operated on in Germany at the Reserve Hospital, Braunschweig. The principle camp during his 7 weeks as a prisoner of war was noted as Hameln. Following repatriation from Germany, Leslie arrived in England on the 12/10/1918 where he was admitted to the King George Hospital – he was reported to be cheerful, but not well – both eyes having been removed Leslie’s brother, Arthur, who had also been wounded in the action on the 18th of August, was also in hospital in England, with wounds to his right leg and his back. On the 5/11/1918 Leslie was transferred to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers, where he was to spend 2 years, training in massage, braille, etc. During this time he was granted various periods of Leave, the first of these being the day after his transfer. Staying with his cousin in Manchester, Leslie wrote to Miss Vera Deakin of the Red Cross on the 13/11/1918, asking if she could use her influence to have his brother transferred from the 4th Southern General Hospital to the Moorlands Red Cross Hospital at Manchester, where their cousin had arranged with the Doctor to accept him. Aware that it would be some time before he himself would be returning home, Leslie was hoping to spend some time with his brother before Arthur was invalided home. Unfortunately the transfer couldn’t be arranged, but Leslie was informed that as soon as Arthur was fit enough, he would be granted furlough, and would then be able to visit him. Arthur was discharged from hospital to furlough on the 10/12/1918 with orders to report to the Command Depot at Hurdcott on the 24/12/1918, but was later granted an extension until the 27th. Leslie was also on Leave during this time, and one can only surmise that they spent Christmas together, possibly with their cousin in Manchester. Arthur eventually embarked for Australia on the 16/3/1919. Leslie married Grace Evelyn GODDARD in the July to September Quarter of 1920 in Manchester, England – probably sometime during his period of Leave from the 13/7/1920 to the 25/8/1920 The couple eventually returned to Australia together on the Narkunda, embarking on the 7/1/1921, and disembarking in Melbourne 17/2/1921 During a medical check that same day at the 11th AGH it was noted that Leslie’s general condition was fair, with heart and chest tachycardia on exertion He was discharged from the A.I.F. in Melbourne on the 18/2/1921 Residing with his parents at 19 Chatham Rd, Canterbury 1922, 1924 – employed as a Masseur Residents of 232 Canterbury Rd, Canterbury 1925, 1980 Masseur at the Base Hospital in 1932 – and with the Repatriation Commission in 1946 Vice-president and Publicity Officer, Victorian Blinded Soldiers’ Association 1931 Victorian President of the Australian Blinded Soldiers’ Association 1934, 1936 Leslie died on the 29th May 1989 at Canterbury, aged 90 – he was cremated at the Springvale Crematorium, and his ashes interred in the Gardenia section, Wall D, Niche 20 Grace died on the 5/5/1993, aged 91, and was also cremated at Springvale and her ashes interred in the Gardenia section, Wall G, Niche 66S The North Western Courier (Narrabri, NSW), Thur 30 Jan 1919 (p.2): LANCE CORPORAL JACKSON Mrs A Nation, of Narrabri, whose brother, Lance Corporal Jackson, was reported to be missing, forwards an extract from a letter received from Private Vanselow. Private Vanselow writes from the King George Hospital, and says: – “I know Lance Corporal J. Jackson was unwounded, as he bandaged me when I was wounded and blinded at Tramville; he must be either killed or a prisoner of war. I did not hear his voice among those of us who were captured, and I think he must have been killed. We were captured at Tramville.” Frankston and Somerville Standard (Vic), Sat 19 Apr 1930 (p.1): THANKS (To the Editor) Sir, – The members of the Victorian Blinded Soldiers’ Social Club would be pleased if you would express through the medium of your paper, our sincere thanks to Mr Taylor, cab proprietor, Frankston, for the efficient manner in which he carried our members and children to and from the Fernery, Frankston, in January. Mr Taylor generously gave his service free of charge, and we desire to publicly express our appreciation. – Yours, etc., L.E. VANSELOW, Hon. Secretary The Age (Melb, Vic), Thur 1 Oct 1931 (p.5): A WARNING TO THE EDITOR OF THE AGE Sir, – My association would be grateful if you would publish the following matter: – Information has been recently received by the Victorian Blinded Soldiers’ Association that men have been canvassing certain suburbs soliciting donations for this association, and others offering goods for sale, stating that same have been made by blinded soldiers. The Blinded Soldiers’ Association has not in the past, nor does it intend in the future, to solicit donations in this way, and would like it clearly known that no agent has been authorised to sell goods made by blinded soldiers. This association is desirous of protecting the public from such imposition, and householders would greatly assist by immediately informing their local police station whenever visited by such imposters. – Yours, &c., L.E. VANSELOW, Vice-president and Publicity Officer, Blinded Soldiers’ Association, 24th September. The Herald (Melb, Vic), Thur 25 Feb 1932 (p.6): MEN WHO HAVE RESHAPED THEIR LIVES Blinded Diggers …………………………………………………………………………… Mr L.E. Vanselow, another delegate, is masseur at the Base Hospital, ………………….. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/242820472 Notes: AWM group portrait of the 22nd Bn contains both Leslie and Arthur: https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C394246 NAA: POW statement – not digitized Child?: Leslie Thomas (Tech Assist) – listed on Electoral Roll with the couple from 1958 to 1980 Grace – possibly the daughter of James Thomas & Amy Goddard (living Erdington, Warwickshire 1911) Born 1902 Apr-Jun Qtr at Prestwich, Lancashire A Grace Goddard served with Queen Mary’s Army Auxiliary Corps – Regt No. 2104