Painful sickness ended Les Deakin's life

Les Deakin

The unfortunate details of Les Deakin's short life is noted in an army file that records the illness which cut short his life aged 21.

Les took ill in July 1945 and was diagnosed with chronic nephritis on 9 August. He did not respond to treatment and died in Greenslopes Hospital, Brisbane, on 8 October.

Les had been stationed in Bouganville from September 1942 until October 1943 with the Australian Signals Training Battalion.

While there he contracted German measles and that is possibly where he picked up the infection that took his life.

In July 1943, Les was "taken on strength" with the Australian Special Wireless Group and sent to the Northern Territory.

He sustained arm injuries a couple times in the course of his service during 1944. In March 1945, what appears to be the first hint of the illness that took his life arose when he was admitted to hospital with a heamatoma to his left testis.

That may have been caused by physical exertion but, four months later, Les was back in hospital with severe abdominal pain.

It soon became apparent that Les had a severe infection and would be in a battle for survival.

He did not improve over the next several weeks and lost his life in October.

Les was graded as a group 2 operator signals in October 1943 and was posted to 66 Australian Wireless Section.

Written by Warren Nunn based on Les Deakin's army record. Warren is a first cousin once removed to Les.