Leo De Saxe – Moruya’s First ANZAC ?

Photograph:  MDHS Collection
Leo de Saxe (2nd from right) with fellow soldiers, Egypt 1915

Leopold Franklin (Bill) De Saxe (1893–1988) was one of the first Moruya residents to volunteer for service in world War I enlisting at the age of 21 on 17 August 1914. He sailed from Albany on 1 November, disembarking in Alexandria, Egypt in early December 1914. He was sent with the A&NZ Division from there to Lemnos, a Greek island just west of Gallipoli to prepare for an invasion of Turkey.

He said this about the morning of the 25th April 1915:

It was the most magnificent morning you could imagine, you couldn’t imagine a more perfect morning as the morning we went ashore.

He survived Gallipoli returning to Australia on 12 December 1915. Later in life he said:

I wasn’t a hero. It was just a case of — you made friends and mates while you were training and you wanted to join them. Not from any heroism. Don’t put me down as that, for god’s sake, I’m no bloody hero.

For more information about Leo’s time at Gallipoli and his life after World War 1 see:

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