This blog is a companion to the Database of Volunteers of Essendon and Flemington

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Lieutenant Mitchell and the gas mask

Australian War Memorial K00035
Fitting gas masks to horses is probably not the first thing which springs to mind when we think of training up the troops to deal with gas attacks, but it becomes obvious if you think about the damage that can be done to the war effort if the horses aren't available to transport guns and equipment, not to mention the disruption to traffic if they drop on the roadway. 

So when Leslie William Mitchell of 15 Locke Street, Essendon, was appointed to be a Gas Instructor to help troops survive gas attacks, horses probably featured in his lectures.   As a new recruit he was identified early as having potential if trained as an officer, and when he attended a Gas School during training in England, he was also identified as a valuable instructor, and this became his main contribution to the war effort.   See Lieutenant L W Mitchell's story for more of an unusual service career.


  1. Congratulations! Your blog has been included in INTERESTING BLOGS in FRIDAY FOSSICKING at

    Thanks, Chris
    Something I had never thought about...but very necessary.