060 – Private Leonard Kestle

Private Leonard Kestle 40th Battalion

Widowers were not unknown among the men volunteering, but would only be a small percentage. Leonard’s young wife Estella died in 1914 leaving him to care for his daughter May. On enlisting May was placed in the care of her grandmother.

Before being taken on strength at the Front, Leonard had to recover from  pneumonia and then a dose of the mumps. He finally got there in May 1917, but before the month was out, he would be admitted to the 9th Field Ambulance with shell shock. It is possible that this was a cumulative effect as the Battalion was at that time in Regina Camp preparing for the battle at Messines. In July 1917 he sustained an accidental  gunshot wound to his left hand and was evacuated to England. In November 1917 he was returned to Australia for discharge.

Post war he remarried and had two more children. Leonard died September 1967