Leslie Bede Weaver

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WEAVER, Leslie Bede

Service no: 2484 [1]

Place of birth: Orange, 1893

Address: 162 Rose Street, Darlington

Occupation: Blacksmith

Next of kin: Sarah Jane Weaver (mother), 162 Rose Street, Darlington

Date of enlistment: 25 August 1915

Place of enlistment: Holsworthy

Age at enlistment: 22

Fate: Embarked HMAT A32 Themistocles, Sydney, 5 October 1915. Invalided back to Australia via Runic, 11 April 1916. Discharged from AIF 23 August 1916.

Date of death: 18 May 1945

Buried: Rookwood Catholic Cemetery, Lidcombe, Section M2 Row 17 Plot 28


Leslie Bede Weaver was born in Orange in 1893. He was the second son of Thomas George and Sarah Jane Weaver. He enlisted at Holsworthy on 25 August 1915 and at the time of enlistment gave his occupation was as blacksmith and his mother’s address as next of kin as Rose Street, Darlington.

Private Weaver embarked at Sydney on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 5 October 1915. During his overseas service, Leslie suffered several bouts of rheumatism which left him hospitalised on each occasion. He was invalided back to Australia via Runic in April 1916 and discharged as medically unfit due to chronic neuritis.

Leslie’s family received notoriety in the Sydney Morning Herald on 21 December 1915 when his father and two brothers, plus one cousin, were deemed to be “The Fighting Weaver Family of Darlington”. [2]

Image courtesy Sydney Morning Herald.

Leslie’s father, Thomas George Weaver, SN 2931 [3], was born in Bathurst and gave his age as 42 at the time of his enlistment. He was a married man with four sons, three of whom saw service overseas. He gave his occupation as blacksmith and wheelwright, having been apprenticed to Orange coachbuilder W T Gardiner for 3½ years.

Thomas enlisted at Liverpool on 24 June 1915 and embarked on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 30 September 1915. While in Egypt he suffered numerous bouts of gastritis and rheumatism. He was invalided home via Runic in April 1916 (on the same ship as Leslie) and discharged in September as medically unfit due to cardiac sclerosis.

Thomas died on 21 November 1941 and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery in Lidcombe.

Harold Edward Weaver in 1952. Image courtesy ancestry.com

Leslie’s brother, Harold Edward Weaver, SN 4478 [4], was born in Dubbo to Thomas and Sarah Weaver. He was aged 23 at the time of enlistment and gave his occupation as a fitters’ assistant.

Harold enlisted at Liverpool on 17 March 1915, embarked on board RMS Mooltan on 15 May 1915 and proceeded to Egypt to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, on 16 August 1915. Ill health saw him hospitalised on several occasions. Harold returned to Australia from Suez on board Ascanius on 2 September 1916 (nursing duties). He was discharged in Sydney on 16 November 1916.

Harold died on 13 May 1975 and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery in Lidcombe.

Leslie’s brother, Reginald Walter Weaver, SN 2485 [5], was born in Wellington in 1898 to Thomas George and Sarah Jane Weaver. He was aged 28 at the time of enlistment and gave his occupation as a blacksmith’s striker.

Reginald enlisted at Holdsworthy on 10 August 1915 and embarked on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on the 5 October 1915 with his brother Leslie. During his time of service, he suffered shell shock and later a bullet wound to his hand. He returned to Australia from England via Armagh on 5 April 1919.

Reginald married Josephine Ryan in Sydney in 1921 and also enlisted for service in WWII. He died on 9 May 1972 and is buried at Rookwood Cemetery in Lidcombe.

Horace Kurnell Weaver. Image courtesy ancestry.com

Leslie’s cousin, Horace Kurnell Weaver, SN 2607 http://soda.naa.gov.au/record/8377035/1, was born at Meranburn near Molong on 20 September 1893, the son of Samuel Weaver and his wife Emeline. (Samuel was the brother of Thomas George Weaver).

Horace was aged 21 when he enlisted on 17 November 1914 and gave his occupation as a railway porter.

The family moved to Orange in 1901 where Samuel obtained temporary work on the NSW Railways as a labourer, gaining permanent employment as a fettler in 1907.

Horace formed part of the Railway Supply Detachment, Army Service Corps 11, and embarked with his unit at Sydney on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 19 December 1914, arriving in Cairo on 3 March 1915. They landed at Gallipoli on 30 June intending to build supply tramways but the site was not suitable. On 28 July Horace Weaver was on guard duty on the beach of Gaba Tepe when a Turkish sniper shot him through the heart, killing him instantly. Private Weaver was buried in Beach Cemetery that night by Very Rev Albert Talbot.

Horace is remembered on the Orange Railway Ambulance and Rifle Club Honour Roll at Orange Railway Station and on panel number 181 on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Discovering Anzacs – Horace Kurnell Weaver [6]


  • Sharon Jameson and Margaret Nugent, January 2019
The white cross with black circle marks the grave of 2607 Private Horace Kurnell Weaver, Beach Cemetery, Gallipoli. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.
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