Noel Edward Burgoyne Eglise aka Leslie Edward Watson

First Name: 
Middle Name: 
Last Name: 
Mother's Name: 
Emelia Eglese nee Weyland "Helena"
Father's Name: 
Charles Eglese
Date Enlisted: 
Saturday, August 14, 1915
Rank at Enlistment: 
Rank at Discharge: 
5th Machine Gun Battalion
Military Cross
1914/1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Leslie Watson (Service No 2840) was born Noel Edward Burgoyne Eglese in Wollongong, NSW in 1895.  At the time of enlistment he was single, 23 years of age, and employed as a clerk. 

Leslie embarked on HMAT A14 - Euripides with the 17th Battalion, 6th Reinforcements on 2 November 1915.  On arrival in Egypt, he was transferred to the 14th Machine Gun Company on 11 March 1916.

Leslie was promoted to Corporal on 26 April 1916 and arrived in France on 20 June 1916. 

Leslie saw service on the Western Front and was promoted to Sergeant on 8 August 1916.  He was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant on 5 March 1917 and to Lieutenant on 1 July 1917 while serving with the 5th Machine Gun Company.   Leslie's brother Lancebrook Charles Eglese aka William Russell (Service No 121) was transferred to the 5th Machine Gun Company at the same time.

In 1919, Leslie submitted a statutory declaration stating his birth name and that he had been underage on enlistment.  He indicated that his Mother would have denied him permission to enlist. 

Lesley was awarded the Military Cross for his actions in 1918. The recommendation reads: During the operations in the vicinity of Bellecourt, France from 29 September to 2 October 1918 against the Hindenburg Line, this officer was in command of a section of four guns which were affiliated with an Infantry Battalion for the operation.  His task was of a difficult and arduous nature and consisted of pushing his guns forward to successive positions in the face of high explosive and gas shells to ensure his giving the attacking infantry the greatest possible protection and assistance. He boldly carried out his work despite great difficulties and by doing so undoubtedly contributed in no small way to the success of the operations in this particular sector. This officers work throughout the whole series of operations commencing at Villers Bretonneaux, France and culminating at the capture of the Hindenburg Line has been brilliant and of a very high standard. Commonwealth Gazette 109 dated 15th September 1919.

Leslie returned to Australia in 1919 for discharge.

In 1924 he married Kathleen Barnes. 

Lesley died in 1976.




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