Leslie Cecil Maygar was born on 26 May 1872 at Kilmore, Victoria. He enlisted in the Victorian Mounted Rifles in March 1901. He attempted to enlist for active service on several occasions with contingents embarking for South Africa but was not accepted until the fifth contingent by which time he had been promoted to lieutenant. He arrived in South Africa in March 1901 and was immediately involved in several heavy actions. In August his column transferred to Natal and was constantly in action against strong Boer commando forces.
It was during one of these intense actions that Maygar was awarded his Victoria Cross.
He noticed that a detached group of soldiers was being outflanked by the enemy, and rode out under heavy fire to order the men to withdraw. The horse of one of the partly-surrounded soldiers was shot from under him and Maygar, despite constant enemy fire, reigned in his horse and lifted the stranded soldier unto his own mount.
The horse bolted in fright into boggy ground forcing both men to dismount. Maygar realised that the frightened horse could only carry one man and ordered the soldier to mount and ride for cover. Maygar then dashed for protection on foot, zig-zagging to avoid the heavy rifle fire all around him. Maygar was also mentioned in dispatches for his services during the South African campaign.
Maygar also saw service in the 1914-18 War. He served at Gallipoli where he was promoted to major and eventually commanded the 8th Light Horse Regiment as a Lieutenant Colonel. In later operations in Sinai and Palestine he temporarily commanded a Brigade. Maygar received other decorations and honours during the war but was severely wounded by an attacking German aircraft at the Battle of Beersheba in Palestine on 31 October 1917 and died the following day.
World War One Service:
Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Unit: 8th Australian Light Horse
Date of Death: 01/11/1917
Grave: Beersheba War Cemetery
Jenny Houghton presents Lt Col Maygar's great nephew with a bottle of the 1999 Shiraz
The occasion was the presentation to the Army Tank Museum of a letter written to the children of Alexander Vic from Maygar, written at Gallipoli on 7th Dec 1917. Maygar led the last 30 men to leave the shores of Gallipoli.