Leonard Doody

Honour roll location: Pillar 5B

On the 25th of April, 1918 Leonard Doody’s heroic act in Villers Bretonneux earned him a distinguished conduct medal.

Leonard Doody, taken in London 1916.

Leonard and his twin brother John were born on the 21st of December 1886 at Serpentine to Joseph and Louisa Doody. Unfortunately, his twin died 5 days later. Leonard grew up in Kerang to become a Horse Breaker and Clipper. He was married to Winifred Uren in 1910. He then enlisted in Calivil on the 13th of June, 1916 and embarked aboard the HMAT Shropshire from Melbourne. Leonard Doody (service number 2529) was a Private in the 59th Infantry Battalion. He was wounded on a few occasions including the 26th of September 1917, 17th of November 1917, and 25th of April 1918 in Villers Bretonneux. The main cause of his injuries were shell explosions and mustard gas. During the attack on Villers Bretonneux Leonard Doody bravely captured a gunner point and was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Below is the report of what Leonard did to receive this well-earned medal.

Image sourced from Discovering Anzacs

He was discharged on 30 October 1919 due to his injuries. He never fully recovered, despite being hopeful when he first arrived home to Kerang.

Leonard and Winifred, his wife, had 5 children. Two of those children served in World War II: Joseph Andrew Doody and Leonard Burwood Doody.

Leonard Burwood enlisted on the 10th of March 1941 at Kerang. His unit was the 38th Battalion. He was discharged 27th of November 1941 and died 1945 aged 25. Joseph enlisted in Caulfield on the 25th May 1940. He served as a gunner in the 6th Reinforcements. He was discharged 29th of January 1946 and died 1959 aged 44.

Leonard’s leather identification tags
Finger ring made from copper machine gun driving band fragment. A section of the ring has been flattened out and a scalloped edge shaped on either side.

Leonard died on the 31st of January 1945 and is buried in Kerang. His gravestone fittingly says ‘Duty nobly done.’

Resources:

  • https://aif.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=81645
  • http://www.anzaccentenarybendigo.com.au/Local_Stories/Great_War_WWI/Doody_Private_Leonard
  • http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/person/150671
  • http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/gallery/3647
  • http://discoveringanzacs.naa.gov.au/browse/gallery/3648
  • https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL28900/
  • https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/REL28901/
  • http://www.gannawarratimes.com.au/story/3031801/devotion-to-duty-cost-corporal-many-years/
  • https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10450/australian-newspapers?itemId=30590956&action=showRecord
    Gannawarra Times, 24th May, 2015

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