The funeral of Lieutenant-General Sir Leslie Morshead, the defender of Tobruk, took place in Sydney, Australia 28 September.
The funeral of Lieutenant-General Sir Leslie Morshead, the defender of Tobruk, took place in Sydney, Australia 28 September. Twelve Generals acted as pall-bearers at the funeral which was carried out with full military honours.
More than 150,000 people stood silently in the streets of Sydney as the funeral procession passed from St. Andrew's Cathedral, where the service was held, to the Northern Suburbs Crematorium. the Cathedral was crowded with mourners including Vice-Regal representatives, Service chiefs and diplomatic representatives. In his funeral address, Major-General the Rev. C.A. Osborne, personal Chaplain to the Archbishop, described Sir Leslie as a man of superb leadership in battle and outstanding citizenship in peace. He was a soldier of all courage and determination.
As a civilian he had much the same success as when he was a soldier - he was President of the Benk of New South Wales, chairman of a departmental store company and former general manager of Orient Line, Australia.
More than six hundred members of General Morshead's 9th Division - all of them wearing medals - attended the funeral.
On the General's flag-draped coffin lay his sword and red-banded cap. This was later replaced by a simple "Digger's" hat - Australian army bush hat - for the procession through the city. Two wartime officers carried his orders, decorations and medals behind the gun carriage. These included two orders of Knighthood, the C.M.G., D.S.O., the Polish Virtuti Militari and the French Legion of Honour. Also behind the gun carriage, an Army truck filled with floral tributes. The escort party was from the 2nd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.
At the Crematorium, a short service was conducted by Major-General the Rev. C.A. Osborne, Dean Pitt and the Rev. A. E. Begbie. The mourners inside the Crematorium stood to attention as outside a firing party of members of the 2nd Eattelion Royal Australian Regiment fired three volleys and buglers sounded the Last Post and Reveille.