Biography

Also Known as: Edgar Leslie Cecil Willis Walker Maygar
Birth date: 27 May 1868
Birth place: Australia: Victoria, Kilmore
Death date: 01 November 1917
Death place: Ottoman Empire: Palestine, Beersheba
Final rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918
South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)
Units:
  • 4 Light Horse Regiment
  • 8 Light Horse Regiment
  • 4th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles

Leslie Cecil Maygar was born near Kilmore, Victoria, on 27 May 1868. He was farming at Euroa when he volunteered for service with the Victorian Mounted Rifles and served in the South African War. It was during this conflict that Maygar was awarded the Victoria Cross for the rescue of a fellow soldier under heavy fire. After the war he returned to farming and once again volunteered for military service when the First World War broke out, enlisting with the Australian Imperial Force on 20 August 1914. Maygar departed Melbourne with the 4th Light Horse Regiment aboard HMAT Wiltshire on 19 October 1914.

Whilst serving on Gallipoli in 1915 Maygar was promoted to the rank of major and in October that year was appointed to command the 8th Light Horse Regiment. In December 1915 he began to document his experiences in a series of letters home, recalling in great detail the evacuation from Gallipoli, which he deemed "a marvellous piece of military strategy probably never equalled in all the annals of history." Maygar was in command of the last party to withdraw from the trenches at ANZAC Cove.

Rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel, Maygar distinguished himself as a fine leader and horseman in the desert campaigns of Sinai and Palestine, during which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order. Maygar continued to document his experiences, in particular the extensive preparations for the second battle of Gaza in April 1917. He died on 1 November 1917 from wounds sustained at the battle of Beersheba the day before. Leslie Maygar is buried at the Beersheba War Cemetery in Israel.

Rolls and Awards

Roll of Honour

  • Date of Death: 01 November 1917
  • Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment

Pre First World War Conflicts Nominal Rolls

  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Unit: 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles
  • Conflict: South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)

First World War Embarkation Roll

  • Rank: Captain
  • Date of embarkation: 19 October 1914
  • Place of embarkation: Melbourne

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Brevet Major

  • Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards (Recommendation) : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Distinguished Service Order

  • Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Honours and Awards : Victoria Cross

  • Unit: 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles
  • Conflict: South Africa, 1899-1902 (Boer War)

Honours and Awards : Mention in despatches

  • Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment
  • Conflict: First World War, 1914-1918

Photograph

A04427

Informal outdoors portrait of officers of the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles with Major (Maj) A Daly (centre back row wearing cap) of West Yorks under whom they were then serving. On Maj Daly's left (centre row kneeling) is Lieutenant L C Maygar, who was later awarded the Victoria Cross in November...

A04427

A04435

Studio portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Leslie C Maygar VC, of the Victorian Mounted Rifles. Lt Maygar was awarded the Victoria Cross for rescuing a comrade under fire at Geelhoutboom on 23 November 1901. Note the Australia sweetheart badge he is wearing on his hat.

A04435

A04436

Portrait of Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Leslie C Maygar VC DSO VD, Commanding Officer of the 8th Light Horse Regiment. Lt Col Maygar died of wounds during the battle of Beersheba on 1 November 1917.

A04436

A04437

Lieutenant (later Lieutenant Colonel) Leslie C Maygar VC, (left) and an unidentified lieutenant seated in a rickshaw being transported by a behorned rickshaw runner in 'tribal dress'.

A04437

H12606

C. 1903. STUDIO PORTRAIT OF LIEUTENANT-COLONEL L.C. MAYGAR VC DSO, THE FIRST VICTORIAN TO WIN THE VICTORIA CROSS. HE WON THIS AT GEELHOUTBOOM IN SOUTH AFRICA ON 1901-11-23 SERVING WITH THE 5TH VICTORIAN MOUNTED RIFLES. HE WAS AWARDED THE DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER IN 1917-10 WHILST COMMANDING THE...

H12606

H12606A

Use P1285/03

H12606A

P01285.001

C. 1903. Hand tinted studio portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Leslie C. Maygar VC DSO. Lt Maygar was the first Victorian to be awarded the Victoria Cross. He won his VC at Geelhoutboom in South Africa on 1901-11-23 serving with the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles. He was awarded the Distinguished Service...

P01285.001

P01285.002

C.1903. A studio portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Leslie C. Maygar VC DSO. Lt Maygar was the first Victorian to be awarded the Victoria Cross. He won his VC at Geelhoutboom in South Africa on 1901-11-23 serving with the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in...

P01285.002

P01285.003

C. 1903. A cropped portion of a studio portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Leslie C. Maygar VC DSO. Lt Maygar was the first Victorian to be awarded the Victoria Cross. He won his VC at Geelhoutboom in South Africa on 1901-11-23 serving with the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles. He was awarded the Distinguished...

P01285.003

P01462.001

VRYHEID, SOUTH AFRICA. C. 1901-11-05. FUNERAL OF LIEUTENANT JOHN GEORGE CHRISP, 5TH VICTORIAN MOUNTED RIFLES, KILLED IN ACTION AT A FARM WHILE ON OPERATIONS AT VRYHEID IN THE TRANSVAAL. LEFT TO RIGHT (THE FIRST SIX ARE CARRYING THE BODY ON A STRETCHER): LIEUTENANT (LT) LESLIE CECIL MAYGAR, LT...

P01462.001

P01541.002

ESANI, PALESTINE. 1917-10-30. LIEUTENANT COLONEL LESLIE CECIL MAYGAR, BRIGADIER GENERAL LACHLAN CHISHOLM WILSON, LT COL A. MCLAURIN, ? ANDERSON, ? LATHAM. (ORIGINAL PRINT IN AWM ARCHIVE STORE) (DONOR JOHN OXLEY LIBRARY)

P01541.002

P05481.001

The grave and replacement wooden cross for Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Leslie Cecil Maygar, VC DSO MID VD of Dean Station, Kilmore, Vic, who died of wounds on 1 November 1917 at Beersheba. The words on the cross read 'Lt Col L C Maygar VC DSO VD. Died of Wounds Imara Nov 1st 1917, 8th L H Regt...

P05481.001

P05481.003

Studio portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Leslie Cecil Maygar, DSO, of Dean Station, Kilmore, Vic, of the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles who was the first Victorian to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC), which he won at Geelhoutboom in South Africa on 23 November 1901, for rescuing a comrade under fire....

P05481.003

P05481.005

Studio portrait of Lieutenant (Lt) Leslie Cecil Maygar VC, VD, of Dean Station, Kilmore, Vic. Lt Maygar was the first Victorian to be awarded the Victoria Cross (VC). He won his VC at Geelhoutboom in South Africa on 23 November 1901 serving with the 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles. This portrait was...

P05481.005

P00252.004

The grave and original wooden cross for Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Leslie Cecil Maygar, VC DSO MID VD of Dean Station, Kilmore, Vic, who died of wounds on 1 November 1917 at Beersheba. The words on the cross read -Lt Col L C Maygar VC DSO VD. Died of Wounds Imara Nov 1st 1917, 8th L H Regt AIF-....

P00252.004

B02831

An outdoors group portrait of officers of the 3rd Australian Light Horse Brigade, at Hod Masaid. From left to right standing: Major Nicholas, General J R Royston DSO CMG, Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) Todd DSO, Lt Col Maygar VC, Lt Col Scott DSO; Sitting: Captain Wilfrid Kent Hughes MC.

B02831

B02815

General J R Royston DSO CMG (far right), and Colonel L C Maygar VC DSO (left), looking at a deserted Turkish field gun c 1895 probably Erhardt 75mm.

B02815

P01531.023

RAFA, SINAI? 1917. LEFT TO RIGHT STANDING: MAJOR NICHOLAS, GENERAL J. R. ROYSTON DSO CMG, LIEUTENANT COLONEL (LT COL) TODD DSO, LT COL MAYGAR VC, MAJOR C. C. DANGAR MC, LT COL SCOTT DSO; SITTING: CAPTAIN WILFRID KENT HUGHES MC. (DONOR J. DERHAM)

P01531.023

Private Record

Maygar, Leslie Cecil, VC, DSO, VD (Lieutenant Colonel, b.1868 - d.1917)

Collection relating to the service of Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Cecil Maygar, 8 Light Horse Regiment, Gallipoli, Egypt, Palestine, 1915-1917. Collection consists of nine letters written by Lieutenant Colonel Maygar while on active service, a letter of condolence written by Lieutenant Colonel... Maker: Maygar, Leslie Cecil

1DRL/0491 (With records)

Maygar, Leslie Cecil, VC, DSO, VD (Lieutenant Colonel, b.1868 - d.1917)

Correspondence, photographs and papers relating to the First World War service and death of Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Cecil Maygar VC, DSO, MID. Comprises letters written from Egypt to his mother (16 May 1915), sister Nellie (10 June 1916). The letter to his mother expresses his readiness for... Maker: Maygar, Leslie Cecil

PR02016

Maygar, Leslie Cecil, VC, DSO, VD (Lieutenant Colonel, b.1868 - d.1917)

Letters from Lieutenant Colonel Maygar to Jack Moir, a student in Australia, concerning former students of Melbourne's Wesley College. Also makes patriotic statements, describes the qualities of Turkish and German soldiers, and how his horse was shot from under him at Gaza. The collection also... Maker: Maygar, Leslie Cecil

PR00696

Maxfield, Gordon Loris, MC (Captain, b.1889 - d.1917)

Collection relating to Captain Gordon Loris Maxfield, 24 Battalion, Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front, 1915-1917. The collection consists of a bound volume made by the Australian War Memorial, entitled 'Letters of Capt. G. L. Maxfield, M.C.' The volume contains photostat copies of numerous letters... Maker: Maxfield, Gordon Loris

1DRL/0489

Digitised Collection

Correspondence relating to Leslie Cecil Maygar, 1915-1918

Letters relating to the First World War service of Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Cecil Maygar, 8th Light Horse Regiment. This file consists of letters written by Maygar as well as letters of condolence written by others after his death. His initial letter describes the evacuation at Gallipoli and his...

RCDIG0000888

Diary for Frederick Harold Tubb, 1915-1916

Diary relating to the First World War service of Major Frederick Harold Tubb VC, 7th Battalion. The diary was written by Frederick Tubb between 22 November 1915 and 2 January 1916. In the diary, Tubb recounts sightseeing around London, visiting members of his extended family for Christmas, the...

RCDIG0000283

Published Collection

Cigarette card of Lt-Col L C Maygar VC

Cigarette card showing portrait of Lieutenant Colonel Leslie Cecil Maygar VC. Part of a series of cards depicting Australian VCs printed by Sniders and Abrahams.

RC09118

Heraldry

Distinguished Service Order : Lieutenant Colonel L C Maygar, 8 Light Horse Regiment, AIF

Distinguished Service Order. Unnamed as issued.

REL/05846.001

British War Medal 1914-20 : Lieutenant Colonel L C Maygar, 8 Light Horse Regiment, AIF

British War Medal 1914-29. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/05846.003

Victoria Cross : Lieutenant L C Maygar, 5 Victorian Mounted Rifles

Victoria Cross. Engraved reverse suspender with recipient's details; reverse cross with date of action.

REL/03067

Queen's South Africa Medal : Lieutenant L C Maygar, Victorian Mounted Rifles

Queen's South Africa Medal with four bars: CAPE COLONY; ORANGE FREE STATE; TRANSVAAL; SOUTH AFRICA 1901. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/05846.002

Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer's Decoration : Captain L C Maygar, 16 Light Horse Regiment (Victorian Mounted Rifles)

Colonial Auxiliary Forces Officer's Decoration (EDVII). Engraved reverse with recipient's details.

REL/05846.004

Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal : Captain L C Maygar, 16 Light Horse Regiment (Victorian Mounted Rifles)

Colonial Auxiliary Forces Long Service Medal (Edward VII). Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

REL/05846.005

Timeline

Date of birth 1868-05-27
Date and unit at enlistment (ORs) 1891-03 Victorian Mounted Rifles.
Other 1901 Arrived for service in South Africa.
Awarded Victoria Cross 1901-11-23 At Geelhoutboom, on the 23rd November, 1901, Lieutenant Maygar galloped out and ordered men of a detachment post, which was being outflanked, to retire. The horse of one of them being shot under him, when the enemy were within 200 yards, Lieutenant Maygar dismounted and lifted him on to his own horse, which bolted into boggy ground, casing both of them to dismount. On extricating the horse and finding that it could not carry both, Lieutenant Maygar again put the man on its back, and told him to gallop for cover at once, he himself proceeding on foot. All this took place under a very heavy fire. (London Gazette: 11th February 1902)
Date returned to Australia 1902 Carried his commission into the 8th Light Horse Regiment.
Date promoted 1912-07 Appointed Captain in the 16th (Indi) Light Horse Regiment.
Other 1914-08-04 Volunteered for service for the First World War, was accepted and was subsequently a member of the advanced party which laid out the first Light Horse camp at Broadmeadows, Vic.
Date promoted 1914-08-20 Appointed Captain in the AIF and posted as Officer Commanding B Squadron, 4 Light Horse Regiment.
Date of embarkation 1914-10 Sailed for Egypt.
Date of embarkation 1914-10-19
Date promoted 1915 Appointed to Major during service in Gallipoli.
Other 1915-10-17 - 1917-11-01 Succeeded to the command of the 8th Light Horse Regiment with the temporary rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
Date promoted 1915-12 Confirmation of rank and appointment.
Other 1915-12 Served in Sinai and Palestine.
Date of honour or award 1916-12 Mention in Despatches.
Other 1917 Became temporary commander of the 3rd Brigade on two occasions.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-06-19
Date of honour or award 1917-07 Mention in Despatches.
Date of honour or award 1917-07 Qualified for Volunteer Decoration.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-09-16
Date of honour or award 1917-10 the field.
Date of recommendation honour or award 1917-10-05
Date wounded 1917-10-31 Wounded during the Battle of Beersheba in Palestine. His horse bolted with him into the darkness, he was later found, but had lost so much blood that he died in hospital the next day.
Date of death 1917-11-01
Date of honour or award 1918-01 Mention in Despatches.