Australia 1915-1916 “Lest We Forget Australia’s Heroes Gallipoli” Celluloid Pin


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Pennant shaped celluloid pin. Front shows a laurel wreath with crown and gold map of Australia above. The top reads:

LEST WE FORGET

While across the wreath and beneath are the words:

AUSTRALIA’S
HEROES. GALLIPOLI.
APRIL 25th
1915

The back of the item reads:

AUSTRALIAN
EMBLEM
SERVICE
70 Mitchell St,
Brunswick,
Victoria
COPYRIGHT
REG

An article on page 1 of the 28 May, 1915 Edition of the Brunswick and Coburg Leader (View Article on Trove) reads:

CORPPORAL GEORGE A. LEYSHON,
who is among the list of those who died from. his wounds, was a Brunswick boy, and his mother, Mrs W. L.Leyshon, or 70 Mitchell street. Brunswick, is in possession of his last letters, which have some influence in lessening the acuteness of her grief atthe loss of her fourth son, only 19 years of age. Concluding his last letter (April 12) he states:
“I have but little news. It’s been the same old thing since I wrote last -tramp. tramp, tramp over the desert. On account of our physique we are expected to excel in bayonet charges. so, mum. you may look for ward to hearing of some brilliant deedsfrom the dear old ‘7th.’ We are go
ing to show the world what is born and bred in the bonny sunny south. This is about. all now. darling mum, soI’d better close. So deary, once again, ‘Good night.’–Your loving soldier boy

Page 1 of the 21 May, 1915 edition of the same paper (View Article on Trove) says:

Corporal. George Alexander Leyshon was 19 years of age, and the first of the 800 volunteers from Brunswick to lose his life. He was the fourth son of Mr and Mrs W. L Leyshon, of 70 Mitchell st. Brunswick North

Issue 133 of the Commonwealth Gazette detailing literary applications for copyright between 1 July 1915 and 30 September 1915 lists the following application (View on Trove):

3493. Leslie Leyshon, 70 Mitchell Street, Brunswick;
Victoria.—Drawing :—” Lest We Forget. Aus
tralia’s Heroes. Gallipoli, April 25th, 1915.”
10th August, 1915.

It appears, somewhat tragically, that the brother of George Leyshon,  Lewis Leslie Leyshon, had this celluloid pin designed to help remind Australia of the soldiers fighting on the new front at Gallipoli. This was almost certainly spurred on by the death of his brother, George just three months before he applied for the copyright of his design.

George Alexander Leyshon, service number 181 (View his service record here) enlisted in August 1914, just a few days after Australia was drawn into World War 1. He was taken into the strength of the 7th Battalion of the AIF, was wounded on the Gallipoli Peninsula on 29 April 1915 and died of his wounds in Alexandria in Egypt on 7 May, 1915. He was buried at in Plot A, grave 96, Chatby Cemetery in Alexandria, Egypt


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