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Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne
Town Hall, 333 Bay Street, Port Melbourne

Fackrell, Leslie James (1700)

Place of Birth: Port Melbourne, VIC

Age: 23 years 3 months

Enlistment Details: Monday, 21 February 1916 – Melbourne, VIC

Service Number: 1700            view online service record

34 Princes Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Next of Kin:
Carrie Madden (mother)
34 Princes Street
Port Melbourne, VIC

Embarkation Details:
Date: Tuesday, 4 April 1916
Ship: HMAT Euripides A14
Port: Melbourne, VIC
Unit: 57th Infantry Battalion – 2nd Reinforcements

KIA: Wednesday, 19 July 1916
Place: France

Leslie James Fackrell. AWM P06964.002.

Private, 60 Infantry, killed in action 19 July, 1916, France, aged 24, commemorated VC Corner Australian Cemetery, France.

Parents : Joseph FACKRELL (late) and Mrs Caroline MADDEN, previously FACKRELL, born Port Melbourne, parents at the time of his birth at 62 Rouse Street as butchers. A 23-year-old labourer, he enlisted with his mother at 34 Princes Street, no circular returned. FACKRELL was reported missing, 19 July 1916, declared killed in action by a Court of Enquiry convened on 4 August 1917, no known grave. In what appears to have been an incredibly tragic twelve months for the family, a notice in The Age, 20 October, 1917 placed by a brother Bert (under FACKRELL-DUGGAN) notes the confirmation of Leslie’s death in France, the passing of their own “darling little boy”, also Leslie on 20 October, 1916, and the serviceman’s sister, Ethel, suddenly on 24 July, 1916.

Additional research by Brian Membrey

By early 1917, Caroline Madden, Leslie’s mother, was living at 124 Bay Street. The military authorities noting the change of address on 5 Feb 1917.

On Anzac Day 2022 at the Shrine of Remembrance, The Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria made reference to Leslie Fackrell and more particularly, his mother, Caroline, in her speech during the dawn commemoration service.

When the Shrine’s foundation stone was laid in 1927, one of the first people to leave a wreath was Caroline Madden of Bay Street, Port Melbourne.

Mrs Madden’s son – Private Les Fackrell – had gone missing at Fromelles on July 19, 1916.

They never found his body.

Private Fackrell’s name was inscribed on the memorial wall of the V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery at Fromelles.

But Mrs Madden was unable to travel all the way to France – so she came here instead.

Anzac Day Speech, Governor of Victoria, 25 April 2022


  • Brian Membrey
    Posted April 16, 2020 4.15 pm 0Likes

    Feedback from a family member in April, 2020 suggests that Fackrell’s mother Caroline had great difficulty believing her son had been killed after seeing a photograph in a Melbourne newspaper of a group of Australian Prisoners Of War in a German Camp, one of whom she insisted was her son. She made several inquiries of the Red Cross in London, the response in each case that there was no trace of Leslie in Germany and that he had been Killed in action. Our correspondent suggests her belief was such that when the Memorial Scroll and Plaque were distributed in 1921-22, she returned them as she still could believe that her son was dead; the mementos have never been sighted by Leslie’s descendants

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