CHURCH, Leslie Ernest

Leslie was the eldest child of Thomas and Mary Church. His birth was registered at Maitland NSW in 1881. At Tamworth NSW he was educated at the Superior School and served five years with the 4th Infantry Regiment.  He was a thirty five year old Plumber, working at Inverell for Mr. W. H. Webster when he enlisted in June 1916. As a married man with children, he agreed that four fifths of his pay would be given to his wife whilst he was in the Army.

He became a member of the 33rd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement which trained at Armidale prior to leaving Australia on the ship SS Port Napier in November 1916. After arriving in England further training was undertaken before he was sent to France on 5 May 1917.

Private Church’s war was very short as he was killed in action on 7 June 1917 during the Battle of Messines.  He has no known grave and his name is one of many inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial in Belgium.

At Inverell his name is recorded on the Cenotaph and Honor Roll. He was one of the 215 men for whom a memorial tree was planted in Kurrajong Parade in 1919.  Leslie Church had been a member of the Inverell Rifle Club before the War.