UQ Rugby great honoured at Anzac Day match

2 Jun 2015

A UQ alumnus and rugby great was honoured at an Anzac Day match between the Queensland Reds and the New Zealand Hurricanes.

Queensland Rugby Union joined with the Australian Defence Force to honour Lance Corporal Leonard Hardwick Foote (1894 – 1947) and to commemorate Anzac Day and the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landings with a specially designed St George Queensland Reds jersey.

The jersey featured LCPL Foote and was worn by number 13, Samu Kerevi, who met with Mr Foote’s daughters, Judith and Suzanne and three of his grandchildren, Scott, Tim and Jenny after the game.

Mr Foote was awarded a university scholarship in 1912, which he used to study engineering at UQ.

He was a resident of Kings College in its foundation year, 1913, and represented the college and the university in many sports, including cricket, tennis, shooting, and rugby.

Mr Foote ultimately represented Queensland in rugby union and in 1913 was awarded a UQ Blue – an award originating from Oxford and Cambridge universities and earned by athletes for competition at the highest level – for his exceptional talent on the field.

He was only the second recipient of a UQ Blue at the time.

In 1915, at just 20 years of age, Mr Foote enlisted with the defence force, and was posted to the 3rd Field Ambulance, 3rd Brigade, spending six months in Gallipoli before being evacuated to Egypt and reposted in France.

He sustained a significant chest wound in 1917 and was discharged and returned home in 1918.

Mr Foote resumed his university career, however no doubt as a result of his medical experiences in the field, transferred to the University of Sydney where he studied medicine.

After a period as resident medical officer, first at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and then in Brisbane, he commenced general practice at Greenslopes in 1923; the same year he married his wife, Ida.

Mr Foote reinlisted with the defence force in 1939, serving with the Australian Medical Corps based in the Brisbane Headquarters.

He held the position of Assistant Director of Medical Services until he was forced to retire due to illness in 1943.

Mr Foote passed away on June 5, 1947, aged 52.