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Thomas Lee was born in Ballarat and was a Coach Painter by trade when he enlisted in the 23rd Battalion, A Company on 18 February 1915 at the age of 21. His unit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 10 May 1915 and saw the last three months of the Gallipoli campaign. In early 1916 while in Egypt, he was hospitalised twice due to mumps then urgent dental treatment. He then moved to France where on July 28th he was wounded in action at Pozieres. He received a severe gunshot wound to his left forearm which fractured the radius. He was evacuated to the Eastern General Hospital in England and from there to Australia. He returned home on the Kanowna, reaching Melbourne on March 8th 1917. He was discharged three months later as æmedically unfit – disability – GSW right arm'.
Tree No 397