John (Jack) LESWELL
Year of Birth: 1894
Place of Birth: Mareeba, Queensland
Date of Enlistment: 31 December 1914
Date and Place of Embarkation: 2 June 1915, Brisbane, Queensland
Ship: HMAT Borda A30
Unit(s): 11 Light Horse Regiment
Regimental Number: 308
Died: 15 October 1916
Pte/Trooper John (Jack) Leswell – photo courtesy Our Soldiers & Volunteers
John (Jack) Leswell was born 12 February 1895 in Mareeba Qld. His mother was Mary Hannah Leswell formerly Cravino. John had 2 siblings, Eliza born 1890 and Thomas born 1898. Mary Hannah Leswell nee Peters married John Henry Finn in 1909 and died in 1959.
Sometime in 1963 Leswell Street, Mareeba was named after Pte. John (Jack) Leswell.
On his enlistment John Leswell was living in Mareeba his age was 19 years 10 months and his occupation was a labourer. His next of kin was his mother Mrs. Finn, Mareeba. His height was 5 feet 7 ½ inches, weighed 147 pounds with sallow complexion, light brown hair and his religion was Presbyterian.
Prior to his service in the 11th Light Horse Regiment, John served in the Far North Queensland Kennedy Regiment, known as the Dirty 500. Members of the Dirty 500, including John, landed on Thursday Island on 16 August 1914 from the troopship “Kanowna”, to take part in the capture of German New Guinea. An incident on board the “Kanowna” involving the firemen forced the immediate return of the troops to Townsville on 18 August 1914; John was discharged the same day.
Pte.John (Jack) Leswell was killed in action on the 15 October 1916 in the Maghara Canal zone, Eqypt. Records say that John was buried 1 mile north of .1046 NW of G. in Maghara. He is commemorated on the Jerusalem War Memorial Cemetery.
HMAT Borda A30 – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial
Cairns Post 16 October 1918 p4
The First Expeditionary Force: the Thursday Island Expedition: a collection of reference documents. Denis Bird, 2015 [CDFHS Library]
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