The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (429084) Flight Sergeant Edward John Leake, No. 467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War

Place Europe: Germany, Hamburg
Accession Number PAFU2015/352.01
Collection type Film
Object type Last Post film
Physical description 16:9
Maker Australian War Memorial
Place made Australia: Australian Capital Territory, Canberra, Campbell
Date made 22 August 2015
Access Open
Conflict Second World War, 1939-1945
Copyright Item copyright: © Australian War Memorial
Creative Commons License This item is licensed under CC BY-NC
Copying Provisions Copy provided for personal non-commercial use
Description

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Charis May, the story for this day was on (429084) Flight Sergeant Edward John Leake, No. 467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War.

Speech transcript

429084 Flight Sergeant Edward John Leake, No. 467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force
KIA 11 November 1944
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 22 August 2015

Today we pay tribute to Flight Sergeant Edward John Leake, who was killed on active service with the Royal Australian Air Force in 1944.

Born in Boorowa, New South Wales, on 21 February 1922, Edward John Leake – known as Ted – was one of two children of Edward and Hannorah Leake. The brother of Margaret, Ted Leake attended the Convent School in Boorowa from 1931 to 1936 and St Patrick’s College in Goulburn from 1937 to 1939.

Prior to his enlistment in the Royal Australian Air Force on 22 October 1942, Leake worked for the Sydney City Council. A keen sportsman, he was also playing Rugby Union with Randwick Reserve Grade at the time of his enlistment.

Leake began training as a navigator and then as an air bomber. In September 1943 Leake embarked in Sydney for overseas service. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, Leake was one of almost 27,000 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers who joined squadrons in Britain throughout the course of the war.

Arriving in England in January 1944, Leake undertook further specialist training before joining No. 467 Squadron, RAAF. As part of Bomber Command, the Squadron flew the four-engine Avro Lancaster heavy bomber.

On the night of 11 November the Lancaster in which Leake was a crewmember was shot down during a bombing raid on Harburg, Germany. It crashed near Ramelsloh, 25 kilometres south of Hamburg. Six of the seven crew were killed. They included fellow Australians Thomas Eyre, Geoffrey Goodfellow, Edward Charman, and George French, as well as their British Royal Air Force crewmate E.F. Vevers.
The lone survivor, Australian Thomas Nilen, became a prisoner of war and survived the war.

Ted Leake was 22 years old. His body is buried in the British and Commonwealth War Cemetery at Kiel, Germany.

Writing to Leake’s family and loved ones, the squadron commander of No. 467 stated that Leake was “an outstanding crew member, who always carried out his duties in a most conscientious and capable manner. His courage and devotion to duty inspired the other members of the squadron”.

His name and those of his Australian crewmates are listed on the Roll of Honour on my left, along with around 40,000 other Australians who died in the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flight Sergeant Edward John Leake, and all of those Australians – as well as our Allies and brothers in arms – who gave their lives for their nation.

Dr Lachlan Grant
Historian, Military History Section

  • Video of The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (429084) Flight Sergeant Edward John Leake, No. 467 Squadron, Royal Australian Air Force, Second World War (video)