Victorian Association of Jewish Ex & Servicemen & Women Australia Incorporated

Founding Member General Sir John Monash GCMG KCB VD

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Surname
Chester
First names
Leonard Harry
Rank
Pilot Officer
Service No.
438593
Date of Death
17/02/1945
Hebrew Date
4 Adar 5705
Hebrew Date
ד׳ בַּאֲדָר תש״ה
Age at Death
19
How Died
Killed Air Operations
Where Died
Gela Point, Morotai
Cemetery
Ambon War Cemetery & Memorial, Maluku, Indonesia
Service Details
31 Squadron, RAAF
Served
South West Pacific Area
Occupation
Aircraft Planning Assistant, Aeoronautical engineering
Age at Enlistment
18
Place of Enlistment
Melbourne, Victoria
Locality on Enlistment
20 Charnwood Crescent, St Kilda
Religion
Jewish
Gender
Male
Date of Enlistment
5/11/1943
Date of Discharge
Country of Enlistment
Australia
Notes
Born 21 July 1925 in Richmond, Victoria. Son of Simon CHESTER née SCHEHTER & Sara née YOFFA of St Kilda. Married Wednesday 24 March 1915 at Albert Street Synagogue. Gifted on clarinet, four songs were recorded by Harry in about 1943 when he was aged 17 - 18. The recordings were on glass based acetates and were made available from his sister, Winifred, and put in the new CD format in 2003 by Lyric Records and sound engineer Geoffrey Orr. On 30 April 2017, the CD Producer, Roger Beilby, rang in at 7.30am to Ian McNamara who hosts "Australia All Over" on ABC Radio on Sunday mornings, and told "Macca" about the recording. I happened to be driving to Melbourne at that time on the way to the VAJEX Australia ANZAC Commemoration Service and chanced on hearing it. With much excitement, I contacted Macca's producer who gave me the phone number of Roger, and he mailed me the CD. The video on this page was produced by me to share on Harry's memorial page. Please click on the video icon and enjoy Harry's wonderful music. Due to his death at such a young age, his true measure as a jazz musician was never to be realised. Harry attended St Kilda Park State School and Melbourne High School. His intention was to study aeronautical engineering. Harry played piano at a very early age, then became fascinated with the clarinet and the jazz scene during his teens. He formed a small group playing at school socials and dances. The years 1939-41 saw Harry playing in the school orchestra every Monday morning. Harry frequently visited The Galleon Coffee Lounge on Fitzroy Street, St Kilda and occasionally sat in for "jam" sessions with the regular musicians.
 
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