18th Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 1716
Born: 1894, Gerringong, NSW
Died: 28 July 1916, Pozieres, France
Thomas Lee was born in Gerringong NSW, the third son of George and Ann Lee. In 1894 the family moved to Tomago where George managed Sir William Windeyer’s Estate. In 1900 they moved to Penrith where George took up 2 farm leases on the corner of Mulgoa and Jamison Roads. After the death of her husband in 1904, Ann and her younger children moved to the Lismore district. Prior to his enlistment Lee was on the staff of the
Dairy Farmers, Sydney.
Lee enlisted in May 1915 and sailed for the seat of war aboard HMAT Kanowna in June 1915. He saw much active service in Gallipoli and Egypt, being slightly wounded at Gallipoli, and was in a Malta hospital ill with jaundice for several weeks in October 1915. After his recovery Lee was sent to France, disembarking at Marseilles on 25 March 1916.
In a letter published in the Nepean Times in September 1916, Lee wrote about the tough times in France and the local men he had met. Lee was a messenger with Harold Hahn whose parents were from Mulgoa. Hahn was killed on 23 June 1916.
Lee was killed in action on 28 July 1916. His burial site was confused for a time until his body was found with its identity tag in 1928 during exhumation works in the vicinity of Pozieres. Lee was re-buried in Serre Road Cemetery No. 2, Beaumont Hamel. Following the death of his mother, Lee’s brother Henry received his medals and identity tag.
The Nepean Times reported in September 1916 that Lee was ‘a splendid, stalwart type of the country-bred Australian, most kindly and genial of temperament, and keenly interested in local and general matters of import. He had been a prominent member of the Penrith School of Arts committee during his residence in the district’.
- Serre Road Cemetery No 2, Beaumont Hamel, France
- Honor Roll, Penrith Superior Public School
National Archives of Australia: B2455, LEE THOMAS JOHN