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Leonard Maurice Keysor
Birth: Nov. 3, 1885
Greater London, England
Death: Oct. 12, 1951
Greater London, England

World War I Victoria Cross Recipient. Keysor was born at Maida Vale, London and in 1904 at age 19 he immigrated to Canada. Ten years later, in May 1914 he arrived in Australia where his sister lived and took work as a clerk. On August 18 he enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force and was allotted service number 958 and became an original member of the 1st Australian Infantry Battalion. He embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT Afric A19 on October 18. The transport arrived at King George's Sound at the tip of Western Australia where it joined the convoy of 38 transports to Egypt. After training in Egypt, Keysor landed with his battalion at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 and was promoted lance corporal on June 20. The Australians seized the Turkish trenches at Lone Pine on the evening of August 6 and for the next three days the Turks retaliated with bayonets and grenades in bitter fighting. On August 7, he picked up two live grenades and threw them back at the enemy at great risk to his own life, and continued throwing grenades, although himself wounded, thereby saving a portion of the trench which it was most important to hold. On August 8, Keysor successfully bombed the enemy out of a position, from which a temporary mastery over his own trench had been obtained, and was again wounded. Although marked for hospital he declined to leave, and volunteered to throw grenades for another company which had lost its grenade throwers. He continued to throw grenades until the situation was relieved. He was evacuated to Mudos and then England where on January 16, 1916 at Buckingham Palace, King George V presented him with the Victoria Cross for his bravery at Lone Pine. He rejoined his battalion in France in March and took part in the fighting on the Somme in July and August. He transferred to the 42nd Battalion on November 17, was promoted sergeant on December 1 and second lieutenant on January 13, 1917. On July 28, he was promoted lieutenant. He was twice wounded in 1918 on March 27 at Méricourt-Sailly-Le-Sec and May 26 at Villers-Bretonneux. In August he joined a number of Victoria Cross recipients who were being sent home to Australia for leave and to help in recruiting. He was one of ten recipients who sailed on HMAT Medic that reached Melbourne in October. Four weeks later the Armistice was signed and he was discharged on December 12. He returned to England in 1920 and entered business in London. On July 8, he married Gladys Benjamin at the Hill Street Synagogue. He died in London of cancer on October 12, 1951, survived by his wife and daughter, and was cremated after a memorial service at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, St John's Wood. The Australian War Memorial, Canberra holds his Victoria Cross medals group. (bio by: Anthony Staunton) 
Golders Green Crematorium
Golders Green
London Borough of Barnet
Greater London, England
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Record added: Jun 24, 2003
Find A Grave Memorial# 7614752
Leonard Maurice Keysor
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Leonard Maurice Keysor
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Leonard Maurice Keysor
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