A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Driver Leslie Barton Wade
Born: 24 May 1888 Romsey. Died: 10 December 1954 Pakenham.
Enlisted: 2 September 1914 aged 26 years.
Served: Western Front.
Les was another son of Richard and Alice Wade, and older brother of Bert and a fitter and turner by trade. When he enlisted on 2 September 1914, he was working as a stock and station agent. On 26 October 1917, during the Third Battle of Ypres, Les was wounded in action in Belgium, sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. With the bulk of Australian Forces on the Western Front being rested away from the front lines, he was sent back to Australia in October 1918 for special “1914 Leave” which was arranged for those Anzacs who had enlisted back in 1914. By the time Les arrived home, the War was over. Les returned to Mount Burnett and in the mid-1920s was working at the Pakenham Upper saw mill operated by the Wilson brothers. Indeed, Les was married to their sister. Les and Ruby had one son and settled on the corner of Pakenham and Paternoster Roads. Les was well known locally as a good amateur mechanic, which was said to have made him a “very handy neighbour amongst the local farmers”.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com