LEONARD KEYSOR

Australian Geographic - - Wild Australia -

Born: 3 No­vem­ber 1885, Lon­don, Eng­land Died: 12 Oc­to­ber 1951, Lon­don, Eng­land Rank: Lance Cor­po­ral Unit: 1st Bat­tal­ion, Aus­tralian Im­pe­rial Force Cam­paign: WWI

AS TURK­ISH GRENADES rained down around him at Lone Pine dur­ing the Gal­lipoli cam­paign in Au­gust 1915, Lance Cor­po­ral Leonard Keysor would smother the ex­plo­sions with sand­bags or pick them up, as if they were cricket balls, and hurl them back into Turk­ish trenches. He even caught some mid-flight be­fore lob­bing them back. These ex­tremely danger­ous grenades were of­ten im­pro­vised vari­ants made of cast iron, with just a three-sec­ond fuse. Af­ter the war, when Keysor was asked to re-en­act his Vic­to­ria Cross ac­tion for a film, one of the prop bombs ex­ploded and he was hos­pi­talised. He later said: “[War] was the only ad­ven­ture I ever had.”

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