1901, Geelhoutboom

MAYGAR, LESLIE CECIL, Lieutenant, was born on the 26th May 1871, at The Dean Station, Victoria, New South Wales, son of Mr Edwin Willis Maygar, formerly of Bristol, and of Helen Maygar. He was educated privately, and entered the Victorian Mounted Rifles, 1 March, 1891, becoming Lieutenant in July, 1900, and serving in South Africa from 1 February 1901 to 31 July, 1902, under Major Daly, OC, 5th VMR, and Colonel Pulteney. For his services in this campaign in the Transvaal, Orange River Colony and Cape Colony, he received the Queen's Medal with four clasps, and was awarded the Victoria Cross [London Gazette, 11 February 1902]: "Leslie Cecil Maygar, Lieutenant, 5th Victorian Mounted Rifles. At Geelhoutboom, on the 23rd November 1901, Lieutenant Maygar galloped out and ordered the men of a detached post, which was being outflanked, to retire. The horse of one of them being shot under him, when the enemy were within 200 yards, Lieutenant Maygar dismounted and lifted him on to his own horse, which bolted into boggy ground, causing both of them to dismount. On extricating the horse and finding that it could not carry both, Lieutenant Maygar again put the man on its back, and told him to gallop for cover at once, he himself proceeding on foot. All this took place under a very heavy fire". His Victoria Cross was presented to him at Pretoria on 8 June, 1902, by Lord Kitchener. He joined the Australian Imperial Force 20 August 1914, and served with the 8th Australian Light Horse Regiment, 3rd ALH Brigade, arriving in Egypt with the 1st Division, Australian Imperial Force, in December 1914. He served with his command in the field continuously without being wounded or a day away from his command on sick leave, so he said when he sent particulars of his services for this book. For his services in Palestine he was created a Companion of the Distinguished Service Order, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel in June 1917. He also received the Volunteer Decoration in July, 1917. Lieutenant Colonel Maygar was mortally wounded on 31 October 1917, during the fighting at Beersheba. A newspaper account runs as follows: "Particulars of the death of Colonel Maygar, VC, who was mortally wounded by an aeroplane bomb near Beersheba on 31 October, have been received by his brother, Mr A E Maygar, of Longwood. Major A W G McLaurin wrote: 'We were in the firing-line all day, and were relieved by the 11th Regiment about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. We were then retired to near Desert Corps Headquarters, where we arrived just about dusk. Your brother went to headquarters to report, and I took the regiment on some little distance to await him. We had dismounted, and he had just joined us, and was talking to some of the men in the rear of the regiment, when an enemy aeroplane came up and bombed some transport in our rear. The Colonel at once galloped forward, and was extending us when he was hit, and his horse bolted with him. That was the last I saw of him, although I sent out men to look for him. A man brought his horse back, and said he was severely wounded, and had been taken to a field ambulance. The regiment had immediate orders to go out to a certain position, and I was unable to see him. We were then attached to another brigade, and were fighting for two days and a night, and when we got back I inquired at the Beersheba Hospital, and was told that he was sent back to Karm; we went back there a couple of days later, and on arrival was told he had died. I was told that his arm had been amputated, and that he was getting on well; in fact, a little before his death he was laughing and joking with the men in the hospital, when a sudden haemorrhage set in, and he died shortly afterwards (17 November 1917). He was buried near the hospital at Karm.

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