Elizabeth Leckie shares the story of her great-uncle, Walter Alan Leckie.
Walter Alan Leckie was the son of Ivanhoe station master Walter Cowan Leckie, and Katrine McGregor Leckie, nee Martin, of Moroka, 3 Station Street Ivanhoe.
Walter was educated at Fairfield State School, where he was awarded a scholarship in 1905. Following this, he attended Wesley College, then Ormond College at the University of Melbourne, where his scholastic success continued.
He attained a BA degree in electrical and mechanical engineering, and won the Dixon Final Honour Scholarship and the Wyselaskie Scholarship in mathematics with first-class honours. He was also the Secretary of the Students’ Christian Association. Despite these academic distinctions, Walter always remained quiet and unaffected.
Walter enlisted as a sapper in the First Expeditionary Force with the service number 28. Walter was a corporal before leaving for Egypt with the 2nd Field Company Engineers. He obtained a commission in the Royal Engineers, then proceeded to Chatham. While in Chatham, Walter was drafted to France.
He went through the Battle of Armentieres, and was wounded at La Basse and at the Battle of Loos. He was later shifted to Ypres.
Walter went into the trenches for the first time on 23 July 1915. He hardly left the trenches until his death on 21 February 1916, at just 23 years of age. He is buried at Tancrez Farm Cemetery Belgium, far from home. Walter’s brother, Captain Peter Martin Leckie, also served on the Western Front.
Walter is remembered by his family and friends as a truly courageous and splendid man. Elizabeth notes that Walter’s death, along with the deaths of so many other fine young men who served their country with such a great sense of duty, was a huge loss to Australia.