4268 Bombardier Leonard Pettit.

Posted on 12 April 2021

Leonard Pettit.

Born: 5th September 1891, North London

Previous Occupation: Seaman

Leonard Pettit came to Australia in 1908 and was a crew member on the S. S. Aurora on Dr Mawson's voyage of exploration to the South Pole. He joined the Brigades on 15th April 1914 and rose to the rank of Third Class Fireman. 

Served at:

  • No 1 Station Headquarters
  • No 3 Station Circular Quay

Resigned 18th August 1915 for Active Service


4268 Bombardier Leonard Pettit, Enlisted: 10th August 1915, 25th Field Artillery Brigade

Killed in Action 9th August 1916 at Fleurbaix, France

Buried: Anzac Cemetery, Sailly-Sur-La-Lys, France

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Leonard Pettit, Sailor, Fireman, Soldier

Leonard Pettit was born on the 5th September, 1891, London England. His parents, Leon Pettit and Gertrude Pettit resided at 633 Alexandra Park Road, Wood Green, London. He migrated to Australia in 1908 at the age of 17, presumably as a seaman and continued on in this trade.

Leonard was commissioned, as a Second Steward, on to the crew of the SS Aurora on the 27th November 1911, to take Dr Mawson and his team to the Antarctic. Once this trip was completed, he was paid off on the 9th April 1912.

Leonard joined the New South Wales Fire Brigades, Sydney, Australia on the 15th April 1914 and stated his previous occupation as seaman. At this time the NSW FB gave preference to employing seamen, for a number of reasons:

  • They were accustomed to a watch system
  • They usually needed quarters, which were provided at the fire station, as firemen had to live very close to the station
  • They were used to hard working conditions
  • They were used to discipline.

Leonard worked at No 1 Station, Headquarters, 213 Castlereagh St, Sydney and at No 3 Station, Circular Quay, the latter also being his place of residence.

He resigned from the Fire Brigade, with the rank of Third Class Fireman, on the 18th August, 1915 for Active Service.

Leonard Pettit enlisted in the First AIF on 10th August, 1915 and served with the 52nd Battery of the 25th Field Artillery Brigade. He was promoted to Bombardier on the 26th July 1916.

Leonard was killed in action on the 9th August 1916 and is buried at the Anzac Cemetery, Sailly-Sur-La-Lys, France.