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Kate Blake Profile
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Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


I am very interested in finding more information about this soldier. Cptn L. Blake Died of wounds on 3/10/18. - prior to enlisting Blake was a member of the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14 with Mawson and Frank Hurley (a close friend) and was involved in a survey of Macquarie Island, the harvesting of penguins for oil and the collection of geological specimens.

Career Highlights
Born 1890. Died 1918. Geologist and cartographer to the Macquarie Island party on the Australasian Antarctic Expedition 1911-14, having obtained leave from the Geological Survey Department of Brisbane to accompany the Expedition. He was one of the five who stayed another year at Macquarie Island. Killed in France just before the Armistice. Source
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I am considering writing about Blake and would appreciate any assistance in locating more information about him.
Kate
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Kate Blake Profile
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Re: Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


I have just uploaded a page about Blake's story here
[sign in to see URL]
If anyone has come across an interesting soldier in their research, I am planning to do a few more pages of Bio's on WW1 soldiers so if interested please send in the names and any details you have. I will ofcourse give full credit to the person supplying details. So many great stories involved in these men's lives - just a way to keep their memory alive.
Thanks Kate
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Re: Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


Regarding Leslie Blake - Today I received this email which once again brings home the dreadful loss of brilliant young lives to war
 - -
My name is Karah Wertz- I am a Ph.D. student at the University of Texas at Austin who has been fortunate enough to study the geology of Macquarie Island for my dissertation. Throughout my work, I have been in awe of the accomplishments of Leslie Russell Blake, the first geologist to map this very special place, amazed at his ability to create such accurate maps, despite field hardships unparalleled since that expedition. I found your website today while trying to find dates for my introduction for my dissertation, which I will hand in next week, and was moved to write to you.

The island is an incredibly inhospitable place, as you can imagine, and field work is trying, even with modern conveniences! When we work on Macquarie Island today, we go with a staff of tradespeople who maintain our well-built, modern station, we have small boats to help transport our heavy rock samples (or high tech back-packs!) samples, we have gore-tex clothing and snug field hut to work in at night, while these men, the scientists of this expedition had none of these things. They lived in a shack and wore heavy wool and leather, and experienced an isolation that I cannot imagine. I don't know if you are aware of this, but his topographic map was one of the most accurate ever made, and I believe he did most of the work solo! This was the primary map used for navigation by all expeditioners until a new one was produced in 2001 using data acquired by the space shuttle, a map which added some detail, but didn't really change much.

I am interested in learning more about the man, and when I return to Australia (I am moving to Hobart in January, and got my Australian residency a couple of months ago) I plan on seeking out his notebooks and diaries from the expedition, but mostly I just wanted his family to know that his scientific accomplishments are appreciated across the globe.

Thanks for taking the time to read this-
Karah

Last edited by Kate Blake, 10/20/2003, 9:43 pm
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Re: Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


Very interesting, Kate. I enjoyed reading about Blake. Good to see Yves working hard as usual - this time with his camera! (Kate, there is a small typo in the timeline - final entry says 1928. You may like to go in and fix).
Are you doing a book on all the Blakes in WWI?(!)
Graeme
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Kate Blake Profile
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Re: Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


I am glad you enjoyed reading Leslie's story [sign in to see URL] was stange how I came across it - one of my closest friends also just happened to marry a Blake (no relation) and awhile back she was chasing up their history when she came across photos of Leslie - who bears an uncanny resemblance to her husband. We started delving a bit more into to it - and both of us were really blown away by Leslie's story. He was such an achiever - but one most of us have never heard of (but we all know of Mawson, Hurley and rest of the expedition)By putting together this page I hope others will learn of him, and his story will not be forgotten under a white headstone in France. I know all the men have their story, but some just reach out to be told - If I can find enough information I will put together his story - as for all the Blakes in WW1 - I couldn't - my house would cave in if I added any more papers than I already have - I have to finish this 37th Book before I even think of [sign in to see URL] you know how this work is - it has no end.
Thanks also for pointing out typo error have fixed it up now.
Yves does invaluable work from France. He has been just such a great help to me with any research queries and helps fill in so many gaps with photos ect that I could never achieve without his assistance.A great Froggy Cobber for sure.
Kate
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Re: Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


Interesting Kaye,

I also have a man from the Mawson trip.

His name was Bert Clive Lincoln and I am sure he may have been a seaman on the Aurora.

He enlisted as A/Sgt 11R/3 LHR and crossed to the Camel Corps only to be also killed at Amman 30th March 1918.

You may find some detail in his service record of interest on the Mawson expedition.

S.B
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Kate Blake Profile
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Re: Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


Steve,
Thanks for this info, do you have Lincoln's service records? I would love to follow it up furthur.
Adventurous men weren't they? By having Frank Hurley on this expedition the photos available are fantastic.
Kate
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Re: Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


Sorry no.

I checked the Archives site and didn't find him, he must be one of the many I check there while in Canberra.

Sorry to miss lead you but without getting a look there I don't know how else.

S.B

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Re: Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


Hi Kate,

I tried to post this before and somehow lost it all!

That was a great response. When you read what some of these people had to go through, yet see what they accomplished, it really is amazing.

I've looked into the Antarctic expedition of 1911 a bit because another of its members was Lieut. E, F. R. ('Bob') Bage.
He was astronomer, assistant magnetician and recorder of tides with Mawson. He stayed away two years and three months, as he was one of the six volunteers who formed the relief party that was left in the Antarctic for a second winter. Lieut. Bage contributed the chapter 'The Quest of the Southern Magnetic Pole' to Mawson's book 'The Home of the Blizzard.'

He was awarded the King's Polar Medal in 1915, and so would Captain Blake have been.

You could try looking at 'The Home of the Blizzard' by Mawson. There are a lot of cheaper paperback versions around, but they're abridged versions of the original; whole chapters have been left out and the photos are not nearly as good quality.

See also:
[sign in to see URL]

Captain Bage, Australian Engineers, was killed in action at Silt Spur, Anzac, on 7th May 1915. He's buried in Beach cemetery. For anyone interested, more information on Captain Bage: [sign in to see URL]


Last edited by Bryn, 10/21/2003, 8:06 pm
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Re: Captain Leslie Russell Blake - 5 Artillery Brigade


Hello Kate
It would be interesting to see your writings about Captain Leslie Blake. I have known of his story since I was a teenager when my cousin and I found a photo amongst my grandmothers photos of a very handsome man. My Grandmother advised us that he was very young and died in France on armistice day. In later years through research I have discovered how significant his achievements have been to the history and science of Australia. In my twenties as a backpacker I was fortunate enough to visit the site of his grave in the Tincourt cemetery France. Every year I think of him on this day and investigate his name to see if anyone else has discovered the story of this man who achieved so much in such a short life.
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