Next of Kin plaque : Private L H McPherson, 24 Battalion, AIF

Place Europe: France, Nord Pas de Calais, Pas de Calais, Favreuil
Accession Number REL/05877
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bronze
Maker Unknown
Place made United Kingdom: England, Greater London, London
Date made c 1921
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Bronze next of kin plaque, showing on the obverse, Britannia holding a laurel wreath, the British lion, dolphins, a spray of oak leaves and the words 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' around the edge. Beneath the main figures, the British lion defeats the German eagle. The initials 'ECP', for the designer Edward Carter Preston appear above the lion's right forepaw. A raised rectangle above the lion's head bears the name 'LESLIE HERBERT McPHERSON'. There are no checkers or manufacturer's mark on the plaque, which is contained in its original waxed brown cardboard case.

History / Summary

Leslie Herbert McPherson was born at Kensington, a suburb of Melbourne, in 1896. He was working a a butcher when he enlisted in the AIF, on 13 January 1916. He had previously served for six years in the senior cadets and a year in the Citizens Military Force.

After initial training McPherson was assigned as a private to the 11th Reinforcements for the 24th Battalion, with the service number 4472. He sailed for service on the Western Front on 21 March aboard RMS Malwa, travelling via Egypt and England, and joined his battalion on 5 August 1916, in time to take part in the battle of Mouquet Farm.

From late autumn 1916 to early spring 1917 the battalion alternated between front line patrolling and labouring tasks. McPherson was evacuated to hospital suffering from trench feet on 6 November, returning to his unit three weeks later.

At Favreuil on 19 April 1917, while the battalion was resting and cleaning up equipment, McPherson was in a group of men hit by a stray shell. Suffering severe shrapnel wounds to his buttocks, legs and elbow he was evacuated to the 6th Australian Field Ambulance and then to the 45th (British) Casualty Clearing Station, where he died the same day. A further eight men were wounded in the incident.

McPherson is buried at the Achiet-le-Grand Cemetery Extension, France. This commemorative plaque was sent to his father, William, in July 1922.