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- Biographies and personal histories, History - WW1, History - WW2, Obituaries
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- RAN Ships
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- March 1997 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
Leslie Brooks was one of the best-known figures of Sydney’s Anzac Day marches with his snowy beard and ramrod straight presence.
Brooks joined the Navy at 14, served in two world wars, and became Boom Defence Officer in Sydney before retiring as a Commander. He was 96 when he died at Liverpool Hospital after a short illness.
The eldest of three children, he was born at Kalamunda, outside Perth. His mother died when he was seven.
A year later, after seeing the American fleet al Fremantle, he decided on a Navy career. He joined the training ship HMAS Tingira at Rose Bay when only 14.
He served in HMAS Parramatta in the Mediterranean and at the entrance to the Adriatic from August 1916, including patrolling off the Gallipoli peninsula. He was aboard Parramatta during the occupation of Istanbul in November, 1918.
Brooks served as a gunnery instructor after WWI and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1926.
He was in HMAS Canberra when World War II broke out, serving in the Pacific and Indian Oceans anc around New Guinea. His war finished as captain of HMAS Madang. After retiring from the Navy in 1957, he worked with a chemical company.
The Rev. Bill Ostling, a former St. Clements minister, said: “He was a man of tremendous integrity and devotion and very kind to those in need”.