Leonard Maurice Keysor
The first Jew serving in the AIF to gain a VC
for conspicuous gallantry was
Lance Corporal Leonard Maurice Keysor, who was born in London in 1896.
He arrived in Australia from Canada in 1914.
A member of 1st Battalion, AIF,
which first went into action at Gallipoli.
On 7 August Keysor was in a trench
at Lone Pine which was being heavily bombed by the enemy.
At great risk to himself he picked up two live Turkish bombs and threw them
back at the enemy. Although wounded, he kept throwing bombs.
The next day, at the same place, he bombed the enemy out of a position which
made his trench vulnerable. He was again wounded. Although he was marked for
hospital he stayed in the trenches and threw bombs for another company which
had lost its bomb throwers. Keysor kept throwing both Turkish bombs and crude
Australian bombs, manufactured on the beach, for fifty hours before he allowed
himself to be evacuated for treatment.
Some time after, he was commissioned an officer,to become
Lieutenant (Lt) Leonard Keysor VC, 1st Battalion.