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August 18, 2020

Cecil ‘Bob’ Leckie

Sapper, Royal Australian Engineers

“My mate and I were shearing out the other side of White Cliffs and I said to this bloke, there’s gotta be a better job than this and he said we’ll join the army.”

 

Cecil ‘Bob’ Leckie, was known as “Horse” for his entire World War II career. He’s a big bloke so maybe that’s how he got it when he fronted up to the recruitment office.

“I’m a very friendly type and I went into Adelaide and the first day I was there a chap nicknamed me Horse and that name stuck with me right through the army.” The nickname followed him across New Guinea, then onboard the ship all the way to Japan where he volunteered for the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF).

Bob was 19 when he enlisted in 1945. He was born and grew up in White Cliffs, the opal-mining town just north of Broken Hill in Far Western NSW. His three uncles had served in the Great War, so service to the country was in the blood. But that wasn’t top of mind when he decided to enlist.” My mate and I were shearing out the other side of White Cliffs and I said to this bloke, there’s gotta be a better job than this and he said we’ll join the Army. So it wasn’t really for King and Country.”

 

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