ID numberA03589
Collection typePhotograph
Object typeBlack & white - Glass original quarter plate negative
Place madeUnited Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date madec November 1916
DescriptionPrivate John Leak VC, of the 9th Battalion surrounded by friends and well-wishers outside Buckingham Palace on the occasion of being awarded the Victoria Cross. Pte Leak is holding the hand of most likely Beatrice May Chapman, whom he later married in December 1918. Pte Leak was awarded the Victoria Cross for 'most conspicuous bravery' on 23 July 1916 at Pozieres. During an enemy attack, Pte Leak ran forward out of a trench under heavy machine gun fire and threw three bombs into the enemy trench. When his party was being driven back by the enemy, he continued to throw bombs and was the last to withdraw at each stage. When reinforcements arrived they were able to recpature the whole trench that had been taken by the enemy. Pte Leak returned to Australia at the end of the war and was discharged on 31 May 1919.