Private John Leak VC
Date of birth: Probably in 1892
Place of birth: Portsmouth, Hampshire, England
Date of death: Redwood Park, SA
Place of death: 20 October 1972
English-born John Leak came to Australia as a boy and in January 1915 enlisted in the 9th Australian Infantry Battalion, AIF. He served on Gallipoli and next year accompanied his unit to France, in time to be thrown into the bloody fighting at Pozières. In a battle notorious for its scale and intensity, Leak's solo attack with bombs and bayonet on a German post stood out. In a further action on 21 August he was wounded.
Few came out of Pozières without physical or mental scars and this brave soldier was no exception, yet he served on only to be severely gassed in March 1918. After a few jobs, Leak became a garage proprietor in Western Australia, before retiring to South Australia, where he died.