Brit hon­ours dead Toowoomba sol­dier

The Chronicle - - NEWS - An­ton Rose an­ton.rose@thechron­i­cle.com.au

AT 25 years of age on Septem­ber 22, 1917, Les­lie Ge­orge Rub died of wounds sus­tained from bat­tle in Bel­gium dur­ing the First World War.

Al­most ex­actly 100 years later, a man tens of thou­sands of kilo­me­tres away from Mr Rub’s home­town of Toowoomba has built a strong con­nec­tion to the 2nd Aus­tralian Pi­o­neer Bat­tal­ion pri­vate.

So strong that he un­cov­ered relics from Mr Rub’s past that paint a pic­ture of the young Dray­ton man his fam­ily may never have known about.

That man, Kieran Moore, has ded­i­cated a sig­nif­i­cant amount of time to track­ing down Mr Rub’s fam­ily from the other side of the world.

A jour­ney which be­gan three years ago when in the United King­dom, Mr Moore stum­bled upon a poem writ­ten by Pri­vate Rub of Aus­tralia, cul­mi­nated in him run­ning 5km at Dis­ney­land Paris for Le­gacy Aus­tralia in Les­lie Rub’s hon­our.

The poem, “Christ­mas Day on the Somme”, im­me­di­ately struck a chord with Mr Moore, who was look­ing for mu­si­cal in­spi­ra­tion when he came across the words of the former Dray­ton man.

“I guess my real mo­ti­va­tion is to hon­our Les­lie's mem­ory. I know the sac­ri­fice so many sol­diers made dur­ing WW1 and want to make sure their im­por­tance to the world to­day isn't for­got­ten,” he said.

“I feel that Les­lie is still mak­ing a con­tri­bu­tion to his coun­try be­yond even 100 years af­ter his death and when I found out this race was on the 100th an­niver­sary of Les­lie's death it seemed like fate was telling me to do it.”

Spark­ing the in­trigue of what life was like on the front line, Mr Moore be­gan his re­search ef­forts.

Three years later, Mr Moore has de­cided to seek out any liv­ing mem­bers of Pri­vate Rub’s fam­ily.

“If I could speak to Les­lie’s fam­ily I would tell them thank you on Les­lie’s be­half,” he said.

“He made the world a bet­ter, safer place and I hope they know what a hero he was. I want them to know that he is re­mem­bered and that he’s still touch­ing lives to­day – that’s a huge thing. I’d also like to let them know what a lovely spot Les­lie ended up in. He’s sur­rounded by fields and peace and tran­quil­lity. It’s a spe­cial place.

“Vis­it­ing his grave is in­cred­i­bly hum­bling and the more I visit the more emo­tional it be­comes. It’s a strange ex­pe­ri­ence to stand and cry at the grave of some­one who died 60 years be­fore you were born. I do feel that some­where out there Les is wait­ing for me with a cold beer and some day we’ll drink it to­gether.”

“The fact that the uni­verse can bring about such con­nec­tions is amaz­ing,” he said.

PHOTOS: CON­TRIB­UTED

LEST WE FOR­GET: Kieran Moore at the grave of Pri­vate Les­lie Ge­orge Rub from Toowoomba.

2nd Aus­tralian Pi­o­neer Bat­tal­ion Pri­vate Les­lie Ge­orge Rub of Toowoomba died in Bel­gium dur­ing the First World War.

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