November 5, 2010

Hi Mac,

From commonwealth war graves is following 

MACKERLIE , LESLIE CHARLES WILLIAM  Petty Officer 18987 31/12/1940  29 
Royal Australian Navy Australian

And from Australian war memorial

Casualty Details

Initials: L C W
Nationality: Australian
Rank: Petty Officer
Regiment/Service: Royal Australian Navy
Unit Text: H.M.A.S. Australia
Age: 29
Date of Death: 31/12/1940
Service No: 18987
Additional information: Son of Leslie Charles William and Ida Eloise Mackerlie; husband of Thelma Mary Mackerlie, of Balaclava, Victoria, Australia.
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead
Grave/Memorial Reference: Sec. 5. C of E Coll. grave 82.
Screen Wall Panel 5

And from UK passenger incoming -- together with other crew.

Name: Leslie Mackerlie
Birth Date: abt 1911
Age: 29
Port of Departure: Brisbane, Australia
Arrival Date: 28 Jul 1940
Port of Arrival: Liverpool, England
Ports of Voyage: Sydney [Melbourne] [Adelaide]
Ship Name: Strathmore

Search Ship Database:

View the 'Strathmore' in the 'Passenger Ships and Images' database 
Shipping line: Peninsula and Orient Steam Navigation Company Ltd
Official Number: 164521

From what I can deduce he died in Liverpool and is buried there.

I was wondering if you have any info on him,

Clem in Claremont. WA

Hello Clem,

I am afraid I really have very little further information about Petty Officer Mackerlie, although I was serving in HMAS Australia at the time of his death, I cannot recall any details.

At Liverpool at that time, the city was subjected to three nights of most intensive bombing, I wonder if Leslie was a victim of this bombing whilst ashore.

Australia was docked in Gladstone Dock then, a 500 pound bomb hit the dock, and a 4,000 pound land mine actually fell into the dock between the ship's side and the dock side. We still had about three feet of water in the dock, part of the tail charge went off, but no damage ensued to our ship. The remainder still ticking away after
we had undocked and another ship was docked and the dock emptied.

At that time I was a Midshipman, and our job during air raids was to don a tin hat, stout boots and man the upper deck to kick over the side any incindaries that fell on our deck.

His death was certainly not caused by any enemy action in which we were involved, at Dakar our only losses were the three air crew of our Walrus aircraft shot down by the Vichy French.

In the history of HMAS Australia,  written by M.A. Payne and published by the Naval Historical Society of Australia (undated), the print run was then 1,000 my copy Number 642. There are two /Lest We Forget /pages  and /Mackerlie, L,C.W. Petty Officer is listed at Page 203.

Regret I cannot be of more use.

Kind Regards,

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