‘Pard’ Riches was so keen to serve in WW2 he enlisted Feb 1941 with 4th Reserve Motor Transport Company, attached to 2/4th.
Lt Leslie Gordon ‘Pard’ Riches 11th Battalion, Regt Service No. 925 participated in the first Gallipoli – he was an original Anzac. He was awarded a Military Cross 1918 WW1.
His Citation reads
“On 12th August 1918, near Lihons, when the left flank was held up by a strong enemy post and machine gun nest, he was then sent forward with a party of men from Headquarter’s details to dislodge the enemy. He repeatedly led the men against the enemy position, bombing them down the trench, putting an enemy machine gun post out of action and capturing the machine gun. Later with trench mortar fire, he rushed and captured the enemy position, thus enabling the flank to advance, and allowing the battalion on our left flank to come forward and line up. Throughout the operation he showed conspicuous gallantry and ability to command.”
Date of London Gazette: 1st February 1919
Date of Commonwealth of Australia Gazette: 3rd June 1919.
Pard Riches accompanied Cough with ‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion and proved a valuable team member.
‘D’ Force Thailand V Battalion lost many lives because they were separated from the remaining ‘D’ Force parties, and instead worked under the command of Dutch earning them unfair working and living conditions and food.
Major Alf Cough wrote of Les ‘So off went my right hand man. I will miss him, his high morale and rough wit which could nearly always raise a smile from the boys, he also used effectively on me the same bulldust.’
The following was printed in local newspaper about 11th Battalion and includes a story of Riches.
’11th Battalion was among the first infantry units raised for the AIF during the First World War. It was the first battalion recruited in Western Australia, and with the 9th, 10th and 12th Battalions it formed the 3rd Brigade.’
Above: Chapter 29 of 11th BATTALION.