BEAVIS, Leslie Ellis

  1. Service Details
  2. Personal Details
  3. Unit and Rank Details
  4. Awards and Honours
  5. Notes
  6. Sources

Service Details

Branch of Service
World War I (1914-1918)
Date of Enlistment
Date of Discharge
Place of Enlistment
Royal Military College, Duntroon ACT

Personal Details

Date of Birth
Place of Birth
Bathurst NSW
Address (at enlistment)
Royal Military College, Duntroon ACT
School(s) Attended
Bathurst District School
Next of Kin
Horace Colin Beavis (father), Bathurst NSW

Unit and Rank Details

Final Rank
Final Unit
14 Field Artillery Brigade AIF

Awards and Honours

Distinguished Service Order (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: 7 November 1918, page 2110, position 20)
Mentioned in Despatches (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: 29 June 1917, page 1391)
Mentioned in Despatches (Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: 24 October 1918, page 2055)


Beavis entered the Royal Military College, Duntroon on 10 March 1913 and was graduated early, along with the rest of his class (in which he came first), on 28 June 1915. After arriving in Egypt in December 1915 he was sent to the Western Front in April 1916 and was soon given command of a battery in the 4th Field Artillery Brigade with the rank of Captain. He spent six months at a Staff training college in England in 1917 before being posted to the 14th Field Artillery Brigade in September 1917 as commanding officer of the 53rd Battery with the rank of Major. His battery was located at Westhoek, to the east of Ypres in Belgium where his battery was subjected to bombardments of gas shells. Despite suffering the effects of gas, Beavis stayed on duty and assisted other nearby batteries who had lost their officers. For his actions between September and November 1917 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Beavis was in charge of the 53rd Battery when he witnessed the downing of the German flying ace, Manfred von Richthofen (the 'Red Baron'). Some of the gunners in his command (including Buie and Evans) have been credited with shooting down von Richthofen. (See Stories from the ACT Memorial, 'Who shot the Red Baron').

He married Ethel Blumer in England in 1919 and remained in the army after war, going on to chair the Defence Resources Board in the 1930s. He served in World War 2 with responsibilities in supplying ordnance and equipment and was rose to the rank of Major General in 1942. After the war he was appointed chairman of the New Weapons and Equipment Development Committee and served as High Commissioner to Pakistan in the early 1950s. He died on 27 September 1975 in the Repatriation General Hospital, Heidelberg, Victoria.


AWM First World War Unit Embarkation Rolls
AWM Honours & Awards
AWM Collections Record: 001852
Australian Dictionary of Biography online - (viewed 11 December 2013)
Stand-to: Journal of the Australian Capital Territory Branch, RSSAILA, Mar. 1952 (p.15, 16)
Colonel J.E. Lee, 'Duntroon: The Royal Military College of Australia 1911-1946', 1952
Stories from the ACT Memorial, 'Who Shot the Red Baron?', ACT Heritage Library

Create Certificate
Leslie Beavis c1942. AWM image 001852.

Leslie Beavis c1942. AWM image 001852.

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