Biography

Birth date: 03 November 1884
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Ballarat
Death date: 18 June 1960
Final rank: Major
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
Unit: 17th Australian Infantry Battalion

Leslie George Fussell was born at Ballarat on 3 November 1883. He was married to Ruby Evelyn Fussell and was employed as a bank clerk, when he was commissioned into the Australian Imperial Force as a lieutenant on 7 May 1915. He departed Australia with the 17th Battalion aboard HMAT Themistocles only five days later.

The 17th Battalion trained in Egypt before landing at Anzac Cove on 20 August 1915. At Gallipoli, the Battalion participated in the last action of the August Offensive and then spent the remainder of its time defending Quinn's Post. After the evacuation, Fussell proceeded to France with the 17th Battalion and by June 1916 had become a captain. He fought at Pozières between 25 July and 5 August 1916 and in Belgium until the end of the year.

Fussell spent most of 1917 away from the 17th Battalion as between 3 January and 23 July 1917, he was seconded for duty to the Ist Anzac Corps School. He was awarded the Military Cross on 5 June 1917 for his consistent devotion to duty, and was promoted to major on 22 June 1917. After a short period back with the 17th Battalion, hewas attached to the 2nd Australian Division as a brigade major trainee from 13 August 1917. He returned to his unit on 23 November 1917 and remained with the 17th Battalion through most of 1918.

The 17th Battalion helped to thwart the German Spring Offensive of 1918 after which the Allied armies turned to the offensive. During this period, the 17th Battalion participated in a number of battles: Amiens on 8 August, the attack on Mont St Quentin on 31 August, and the forcing of the Beaurevoir Line around Montbrehain on 3 October. Montbrehain was the battalion's last battle as it was in training when the armistice was declared. Active throughout 1919 with demobilisation of the AIF, Leslie Fussell returned to Australia in early 1920 and his military appointment was terminated on 16 June 1920.

Rolls and Awards

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Date of embarkation: 12 May 1915
  • Place of embarkation: Sydney

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 17th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 17th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation)

  • Unit: 17th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Military Cross

  • Unit: 17th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 17th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Military Cross

  • Unit: 17th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 17th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Photograph

P11066.001

Outdoor portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Leslie George Fussell, 17th Battalion, using a trench periscope at Little Pope's Hill, Gallipoli. The soldier on the right is identified by the original inscription as "Major Murphy's batman".

P11066.001

Private Record

Fussell, Leslie George (Major, b.1884 - d.1960)

Collection relating to the First World War service of Major Leslie George Fussell, 17 Battalion, Gallipoli. Collection consists of a note written by Turkish soldiers expressing their thanks for a tin of bully beef that had been thrown into their trenches by Major Fussell at Quinn's Post whilst... Maker: Unknown

PR00130 (With records)

Digitised Collection

Letter from Turkish soldiers, 1915 and photocopy of newsclipping from the Melbourne "Argus", 1934

Letter relating to the First World War service of Major Leslie George Fussell, 17th Battalion, Gallipoli. The letter was written by Turkish soldiers expressing their thanks for a tin of bully beef that had been thrown into their trenches by Major Fussell at Quinn's Post whilst instructing his men...

RCDIG0000353

Timeline

Date of birth 1884-11-03
Date of embarkation 1915-05-12
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-03-03
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-07
Date of recommendation honour or award 1918-09-24
Date of recommendation honour or award 1919-01-30
Date of death 1960-06-18