Leonard Broadhurst

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Broadhurst, Private Leonard no.3013

55th Battalion formerly 17th Battalion 7th Reinforcements.

73 Garnet Street, Hurlstone Park.


Born Aston, Birmingham [1892?], son of Frederick William and Ada Eliza Broadhurst.

Educated Public Board School.

Came to Australia aged 17.

Lived Sydney and Marrickville.

Enlisted at Marrickville 24/8/1915.



Next of kin, father, Frederick William Broadhurst.

The three Broadhurst brothers enlisted with the two McLeod brothers.

Killed in action 20/7/1916 [at Fromelles].

Buried in VC Comer Australian Cemetery, France, Panel 11.

AWM File IDRL 428 Letters to the British Red Cross re Australian Servicemen:

Corporal J.S. Carroll no.3042 55th Australians, Westminster Road Hospital, Liverpool, 5/9/1916:

On July 20th at Fleurbaix, Broadhurst was badly wounded in the head or chest whilst capturing a German trench. He was left lying in the trench and the rest of the Company continued the advance. The trench was afterwards retaken by the Germans so that Broadhurst must have been taken prisoner, but I do not think he could have lived long after he was wounded.

Private O.G. Hannan no.3087 55th Battalion, Ward 33, Harefield Hospital 12/9/1916:

I saw him shot through the head in the German second line at Fleurbaix, 19th July. I could not get stretcher bearers over, and when we had to retire I carried him to a shell hole and left him there, and thought he would be safe. Later the men retired Broadhurst was not brought back. (Two reports amalgamated).

Lance Corporal John Charters no.3264 55th Australians B Company VI Platoon, 3rd Southern General Hospital, Town Hall, Oxford 9/11/1916:

I heard about a month ago from Broadhurst’s brother that news had been received at his home that he was a prisoner. When Broadhurst's brother joined the Company in August, I was enquiring for the missing man, and he told me.

Albert William Banks no. 3316 55th AIF, Dudley Road Hospital, A5 Birmingham, 13/11/1916:

On July 20th at Fromelles Height, Broadhurst and two others were digging a sap, and I passed them carrying ammunition. On my returning the same way, Broadhurst was not there, and one of the other men, Private H. Cook no. 3034 said that he had been shot through the head.

Hardy no. 569,40th Ward, Harefield Hospital, 30/8/1916:

I saw him shot through the head at Armentieres lying in a shell hole near the German Trenches. We could not get him away, and he either died or was taken prisoner.

Private J.H. Wyllie no.3205 55th AIF B Company, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, S.W. 18/9/1916:

On 20th July at 2am Private L. Broadhurst was shot in the head but was conscious when left. I think he may have been taken as a wounded prisoner.

Prisoner of War - Pay Book N.0.A.0.K.6 - Certified by German Death List dated 9/9/1916. Private AV. Watts no.3948 55th AIF B Company VIII Platoon, 1st Birmingham War Hospital, Rubery

At Vermelles [Fromelles] at about 11.30 pm on 20th July, Broadhurst was next but one to me; they were part of a squad who had commenced to dig a communication trench towards the British lines. I saw Broadhurst hit in the forehead by a bullet from a sniper. A stretcher bearer dressed the wounds and put him into a “safe” place for subsequent removal, but the Australians were driven back to their original line and Broadhurst was left behind I think he must be dead.

Private R. Harris no.3815 B Company, No.5 ADBD Etaples, 23/11/1916:

He was shot through the head at Fleurbaix on July 20th, while we were consolidating. He was badly wounded and we had to leave him there in an unconscious condition. We had to retire from that point. He appeared to be almost dead when we left. He belonged to VIII Platoon, B Company. There were three brothers in the Battalion. Only one was in the charge. I am sure of his identity.

A. V. Watts no.3948 55th Battalion AIF, 3rd Auxiliary Australian Hospital, Dartford, 21/11/1916:

I remember Broadhurst being wounded. I saw him digging in a communication trench; he was shot in the head I heard him calling out, one of the Company (Private B.W. Rea) told me he had dressed Broadhurst’s wound. The Company retired in the morning and had to leave Broadhurst behind I can't say whether he was seriously wounded. He was conscious nearly all the time. I did not speak to him after he was wounded. He was wounded on the forehead just under the helmet. It was quite about midnight or early morning.

Corporal W.G.F. Nixey no.4861 55th AIF B Company, Crag Head Hospital, Bournemouth, 30/12/1916

On July 20th, at Fromelles, Broadhurst was killed when we were retiring from the German lines to our own. I saw him fall and heard him call out and ask if we were going to leave him there. He fell about half way back.

Eyewitness - Yes Description - Fair and thick set.

Private B.W. Rea 55th Battalion AIF, France, 28/12/1916

He was severely wounded through the head on the night of July 19th 1916 and to the best of my knowledge he was left lying near the German support lines, it being impossible for the stretcher bearers to get up. I may also state that I knew him personally and assisted in dressing his wound to the best of our ability, but being called away to another part of the field we had to leave him.

Corporal J. McPheeno.3098 55th Battalion AIF, Transport Section, Docks Rest Camp, Havre, 24/1/1917

I knew Broadhurst who was in A Company. He was about 23, medium height, fair complexion. A mate of mine, D. Ross, still with the Unit, 55th Battalion, Transport Section, told me he had seen Broadhurst shot through the head on the 19th July by a stray bullet and that he had helped to bandage him up. He was put into a hole outside the trench where he was safe from machine gun or rifle fire. He became delirious there and kept getting into a sitting position and calling for his mother and a girl named Eadie. His brother, now with the Battalion, has been told the above.

Private A.J. Ryder no.3289 55th Australians B Company, 1st London General Hospital, Camberwell, S.E.

... His nickname was Broadie Nugget.

Disc received from Germany and forwarded to his next of kin 24/1/1917.

Private W.J. Hicks no.2429 no. 5 ADBD Etaples 15/1/1917

There were two brothers Broadhurst in the Battalion. One is with the Battalion still and has never been wounded. The other is batman to Captain Marshall and has not been out to France. They were Sydney lads.

Sergeant J.H. Dunne no. 2816 55th Battalion D Company, Southall, 19/1/1917:

L. Broadhurst was one of three brothers, all serving in the same company; they were English born, but lived in NSW. They all joined there. The Battalion had fought its way into the German line at Fromelles, Armentieres. Here Broadhurst was wounded and I saw him carried to a German dressing station, occupied by our people. Later on we had to retire and abandon the wounded the Germans reoccupying the ground. Some of these wounded left with Broadhurst, have since been reported Prisoners of War, but his name has not appeared.

Private W. Eaton no.3054 C Company, no. 5 ADBD, Etaples, 22/1/1917

He was killed at Fleurbaix on July 19th. His brother Private “Bert” Broadhurst, B Company 55th Battalion, was in England when he heard the news, and obtained permission to join the Battalion in his brother’s place. He is still with it. I saw him not long ago. He knows the details of his brother's death.

Private Luxford no.3347, no.6 General, Rouen, 22/1/1917

He was killed on the 19th July and we found his body nearly a fortnight afterwards. He was buried on the Field at Fromelles near Fleurbaix.

Died 20/7/1916 Copy of Death Voucher Central Inquiry Office for War Losses & Graves.

This is to certify that we hold a death card Ref: 111, which states that the Australian Prisoner of War 3013, Private L. Broadhurst, 55th Battalion, died on 20/7/1916.

Identity disc handed on by the Inquiry Officer at Army Corps 6, List at Ref: 111 no. 1006x/165/W. Stamp: Royal Prussian War Office Central Inquiry Bureau. 2/3/1920.

“Died Fleurbaix aged 24. Two brothers served in the same regiment. Father is a munition worker in France”.

Information from Frederick William Broadhurst, father, 73 Garnet Street, Dulwich Hill.

Additional information could be obtained from Adolphus Long, “Kingston”, Park Road, Campsie.

SMH 20/7/1917 In Memoriam. Broadhurst - In sad but loving memory of our dear son and brother, Private Leonard Broadhurst, aged 23, killed in action in France, July 20,1916. Sadly missed by all. A young life nobly ended. Inserted by his loving mother and father (abroad munition making), brothers, Fred (returned) and Bert (on active service), also his loving sisters, Vin and Maud. (In the same issue of the SMH the Broadhurst family placed an In Memoriam notice for Private Hector McLeod).

Monument, Euston Square, Hurlstone Park. Killed in action.

Tele/Mirror list 11/11/1993 Killed in action 20/7/1916.

Anzac Memorial

Australian War Memorial record available at: https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1828943/ [accessed 05/08/2016].

Special acknowledgement

The foundation of the information on this page was copied from the prize winning publication Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. This book is the culmination of 12 years (1988-2000) research by a team of volunteers from Canterbury and District Historical Society led by Dr Lesley Muir. Without this team's effort and dedication and the Society's willingness and support, this information would not be available today.


An uneditable version of the book Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe is in the eBook section of this wiki. In the main section, there is an alphabetical list of the 1,911 individuals recorded in the book - the list is titled Canterbury's Boys list. Every name is linked to an editable version of the individual’s biography copied from the Canterbury’s Boys book. The editable biographical files have been created to provide the space for descendants, historians, researchers, etc to add to these files any further information, photographs, newspaper articles, memories, etc. they have discovered so it is available for this and future generations.


Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. Edited by Lesley Muir. Campsie, N.S.W. : Canterbury and District Historical Society, 2002