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George Leonard Lee 1860-1939

Journal by janilye

George Leonard LEE the son of John Leonard LEE 1833-1913 and
Mary, nee ECKFORD 1836-1883 was born in Maitland in 1860.
In 1896, George Leonard married Emma Onus TOWN 1867-1948 the
daughter of Andrew TOWN, of Hobartville 1840-1890 and
Emma Susannah ONUS 1843-1941.

This biography below is from the Dictionary of Australian Biography:-
[George Leonard Lee (1860-1939), soldier, was born on 25 June 1860 at West Maitland, New South Wales, son of John Lee, draper and later merchant, and his wife, Mary Ann ne Eckford. Educated at Sauchu House School, West Maitland, and Armidale Grammar School, he worked for a while in the family business, John Lee & Sons, West Maitland. He was a well-known horseman and sportsman, keen on polo.

On 4 October 1889 Lee was commissioned in the local troop of the New South Wales Lancers and during the maritime strike of 1890 acted as adjutant of the partially paid cavalry and mounted rifles who were enrolled as special police in Sydney. Next year he was sent to England for training and by October 1892 had qualified in an equitation course at the Cavalry School, Canterbury, at an Army Service Corps school and at the School of Musketry, Hythe; he also trained for several months with the 20th Hussars at Aldershot. After returning home he joined the New South Wales Permanent Military Forces in December 1892 as a captain and from then until June 1902 was adjutant of the New South Wales Lancers. The New South Wales Mounted Brigade's book of confidential reports contains laudatory references to him. During that time he was also acting staff officer, Mounted Brigade, for over two years, and commandant of the Cavalry School. On 2 January 1896 he married Emma Onus Town at St Ann's Anglican Church, Homebush, Sydney; they had no children.

On the outbreak of the South African War in October 1899 the New South Wales Lancers mobilized a draft to go from Sydney to reinforce their squadron which was proceeding to the war from England after training there. Lee, now a major, was in charge of the draft which joined the squadron in South Africa on 6 December. Lee then took command of the Lancer contingent from Captain C. F. Cox. His unit, part of Lieutenant-General French's force, was employed in operations around Colesberg, the relief of Kimberley, and actions at Paardeberg, Poplar Grove, Driefontein, Zand River, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Diamond Hill and in the Transvaal east of Pretoria to 26 October 1900 when the squadron's year of service ended. For his work in South Africa Lee was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Order.

Resuming duty with the Australian Military Forces, Lee was assistant adjutant general and chief staff officer in Victoria in 1902-07. Appointed to the Administrative and Instructional Staff in 1904, he became a lieutenant-colonel in 1909, having held brevet rank since 1902. He served in New South Wales from June 1907, and was commandant in Tasmania in 1911-12 and in Queensland in 1912-17. After that he was temporarily in command in New South Wales, with the honorary rank of major general from July 1918 until he was transferred to the retired list on 13 May 1920 as honorary lieutenant-general. He was aide-de-camp to the governor-general in 1915-20, and in 1917 was appointed C.M.G.

Warm tributes to Lee's personality and ability include praise of his fine horsemanship, geniality and ripe judgement; there was 'no hypocrisy in his make up' and he would not tolerate it in anyone under him. In retirement he worked two oyster leases at Port Stephens, New South Wales. He was a member of the Union Club, Sydney. Survived by his wife, he died on 13 April 1939 at Burwood and was cremated with Anglican rites.]

Citation details
Vernon, P. V., 'Lee, George Leonard (18601939)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/lee-george-leonard-7146/text12335, accessed 12 July 2012.
This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986





OBITUARY
Printed in the Sydney Morning Herald,
Saturday 15 April 1939

LIEUTENANT-GENERAL G. L.LEE.
Lieutenant-General George Leonard Lee, who died on Thursday night,
aged 78, had a distinguished military career.
He received his first commission in the New South Wales Lancers in 1889,
and was subsequently adjutant of the Lancers for 10 years.
After reaching the rank of lieutenant-colonel he was appointed to the
administrative instructional staff of the permanent military forces.
He was Assistant Adjutant General and Chief Staff Officer in Victoria
from 1902 to 1907, Commandant in Tasmania from 1911 to 1912, and
Commandant in Queensland from 1912 to 1917.

He took part in the South African campaign, and was present at the
relief of Kimberley.
He was mentioned in despatches in 1901, and received the
Distinguished Service Order and the Queen's medal with six clasps.
He was created a C.M.G. in 1917.

A well-known sportsman and horseman, in his younger days he won renown
in many cross-country rides, winning more than one.

Before he was appointed to the permanent staff he was a member of the
firm of John Lee and Sons, general providers, West Maitland.
He was at one time Commandant of the Cavalry School of Instruction.
He was granted the rank of lieutenant-general when he retired from the
position of State Commandant in New South Wales 19 years ago."

Lieut.Gen. George Leonard LEE C.M.G D.S.O died on the 13 April 1939 at his residence,
58 Broughton Road, Homebush.
(the former residence of his mother-in-law, Emma Susannah TOWN)
His widow Emma Onus LEE died on the 15 April 1948, also at Broughton Road.

Surnames: ECKFORD LEE ONUS TOWN
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on 2012-07-11 21:25:27

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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