Leon H. Eyckens

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Leon Henry Eyckens was a Ballarat soldier, and one of three brothers to serve with the A.I.F.



Eyckens was born in Beaufort, Victoria, on January 23, 1893.[1][2] He was the eldest son of Leon Eyckens (born in Belgium) and Ellen Nora Wilson (1870-1947).[3]

For two years he was a member of the Beaufort Rifle Club. In 1914 he was working for a grocer, Messrs. Bell and Co. The company was fined for underpaying Eyckens.[4]

Eyckens joined the AIF on September 28, 1914, A company, 6th Battalion, Serial Number:2045.[1] At the time of his enlistment he was living at 129 Errard Street, Ballarat.

In a letter in his military file he says was in the first landings at Gallipoli, at 4.30am on April 25, 1915.[1] Two week later he was in the landing at Cape Helles. On May 25, 1915 he was serious wounded in the right knee and neck, and sent to England for medical care.[1] He returned to Australia on April 22, 1916 and was admitted to the No. 5 Base Hospital in St. Kilda Road.[1] He was discharged from the AIF on June 6, 1916.[1]

He met Gertrude Hutton while recovering in England, and they became engaged on November 12, 1915.[5] There is a request in his military file for payment for a fare for her to return to Australia with him in 1916.[1] He married Gertrude Hutton, from Birmingham, at St. Peters, Ballarat, on December 20, 1916. There is a full description of the wedding ceremony in the Riponshire Advocate, February 17, 1917:

A WEDDING. EYCKENS—HUTTON. A marriage of more than local interest, on account of the bride being a young English girl and the bridegroom a returned soldier, was celebrated at St. Peter's Church, Ballarat, on Saturday, 20th ult.—a typically bright Australian day—by Chaplain-Captain M. C. James. The bride, Miss Gertrude Hutton, daughter of Mr John Hutton, of Birmingham, England, who caught her first glimpse of Australian shores some few days before Christmas, entered the church on the arm of Sergeant J. Holt, who gave her away. She wore a dainty white embroidered frock, with the usual wreath and veil, and the bridegroom's gift, a gold wristlet watch, and carried a shower bouquet. She was attended by the Misses Macintosh Wilson (cousins of the bridegroom) and M. and F. Eyckens (sisters of the bridegroom).
The bridegroom — Mr Leon H. Eyckens — is the eldest son of the late Mr L. W. Eyckens and Mrs Eyckens, of Little Lyons street, Ballarat (formerly of Beaufort), who saw much fighting in Gallipoli and was invalided home and subsequently discharged before entering the Victorian Postal Department. He was supported by Mr S. Dixon, also a returned soldier. At the church appropriate music was rendered by Mrs M. C. James. After the ccremony a reception was held, at which some 30 guests, including visitors from Lake Hind marsh, Cressy, and Melbourne, were entertained by the mother of the bridegroom in a large marquee, decorated with garlands and red, white and blue streamers. After the singing of the National Anthem the Chaplain-vicar of St. Peter's presiding, the following toasts were honored:—-"The King," "The Bride," "The Parents of the Bride and Bride groom", "The Boys at the Front" (two of Mrs Eyckens' sons being on active service), "The Chairman and Mrs James." Many congratulatory cables and telegrams were received by Mr and Mrs Leon Eyckens, who shortly after left by the Adelaide express, en route for Lake Hindmarsh, where they spent a week before returning to their home in Mills street. Many dainty and useful gifts were received.[6]

He was listed in the Argus, June 6, 1915: "Private L. H. Eycken (wounded) lived at Ballarat South, being the eldest son of his widowed mother. He was a labourer.[7]

From the Riponshire Advocate, August 19, 1916:

"Mrs Eyckens, of Ballarat (formerly of Beaufort), has received information from the Defence Department that her son, Private A. Eyckens, has been wounded. Another brother, Private W. Eyckens, went right through the Gallipoli campaign and is still at the front, whilst a third member of the family, Private L. H. Eyckens, was wounded early in the Dardanelles fighting, and has since returned to Australia and been discharged."[8]

In 1917 he was working for the Postal Department.[6]

On January 18, 1920, he applied to the Electric Supply Company of Victoria, for a position as a Motorman on the Ballarat Tramways. He was appointed to the position on July 30, 1920. His address was 117 Lyons Street, Ballarat.[9]

In April 1967 he was living at Rosebud, Victoria.[1] He died at Ballarat in 1968.[10] He was buried in the Ballarat Cemetery on 27 June 1968.[11]


World War One service recognised on the Ballarat Avenue of Honour.

See also



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 National Archives of Australia, 2013, accessed 9 December 2013
  2. National Archives of Australia, NAA: B884, V367756, accessed 14 December 2013
  3. Federation Index Victoria 1889-1901, Births 1893 Ref. No. 823, Macbeth Genealogical Services
  4. 1914 'COUNTRY NEWS.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 28 March, p. 20, viewed 9 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article7228256
  5. 1917 'The Riponshire Advocate.', Riponshire Advocate (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 13 January, p. 2, viewed 9 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119572614
  6. 6.0 6.1 1917 'WEDDING.', Riponshire Advocate (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 17 February, p. 2, viewed 9 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119572763
  7. 1915 'ROLL OF HONOUR.', The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957), 8 June, p. 6, viewed 9 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article1522685
  8. 1916 'FOR THE EMPIRE.', Riponshire Advocate (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 19 August, p. 3, viewed 9 December, 2013, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article119571932
  9. Ballarat Tramways, Tramway Staff, Electric Supply Company, pg.N, Ballarat Tramway Museum, No. 6100
  10. Eyckens, Leon Henry, Death Index 1921-1985, No. 15920, Macbeth Genealogical Services
  11. Cemetery Search Results, http://ballaratcemeteries.com.au, access date 14 December 2013

Further Reading

External links

--Beth Kicinski 13:01, 19 August 2013 (EST)

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