THORN, Leo Dane

Leo’s birth at Gilgai in 1897 was registered at Inverell. He was the second child of John and Annie Thorn of Gilgai.  Leo enlisted at Inverell in December 1915 and joined other district men to form the First Contingent of The Kurrajongs who left together in January 1916 for the Narrabri and Moree camps.

Leo became a member of the 33rd Battalion, A Company which trained at Armidale and Rutherford prior to sailing from Australia on HMAT A74 Marathon in May 1916.  After nine weeks at sea, the Battalion arrived in England where further training took place at Salisbury Plain. Shortly after arriving in England Leo became ill and was admitted to hospital at Lark Hill. 

In May 1917 he was transferred to the 61st Battalion and sent to France in August.  A few weeks later he was badly wounded at Zonnebeke and invalided back to England with a gunshot wound to his chest and spine.  After treatment at Bethnel Green Military Hospital he was returned to Australia on the Hospital ship Kanowna and discharged medically unfit in Sydney in April 1921.

Private Thorn died at Randwick in 1931.  His name is inscribed on the Gilgai and Inverell Honor Rolls.

Image: Leo Thorn (right) with his cousin Daniel Orchard Private collection