Les DarcyPrint Page
Monument over grave erected in memory of boxer Les Darcy who died in 1917.
The gravesite will be restored with Federal funding and the Australian National Boxing Hall of Fame, which raised more than $60,000 to repair the grave.
One of 10 children of an Irish Catholic share farming family, Les Darcy quickly developed a love of boxing which was a major sport in those days. He left school at 12 to become a carter and then became a blacksmith’s apprentice. He became very fit and strongly built as the blacksmith’s striker. He began to fight in tournaments at 15 and showed natural talent. He soon became a drawcard and in two years to September, 16, 1916 he won 22 consecutive bouts. He had an enormous following from Maitland and the coalfields and each new fight was awaited with eager anticipation. He was not recognised as undisputed world middleweight champion but he beat a series of American imports who included most of the best of the era.
In that period he tried to enlist but he was under 21 and his mother refused her consent. In October, 1916, shortly before his 21st birthday Darcy heeded some bad advice. He sailed surreptitiously for the United States in a bid to clinch an official world title. After that nothing went right. Newspapers branded him a coward and deserter, United States State Governors banned him from boxing, promoters abandoned him, fans sent him white feathers. In Memphis, Tennessee he fell ill with blood poisoning and died on May 24, in state in a chapel in Sydney and it is claimed that 700,000 were in his funeral procession.
|Address:||Raymond Terrace Road, East Maitland Cemetery, Roman Catholic Section, East Maitland, 2323|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -32.756276|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
Of Your Charity
The Soul of
JAMES LESLIE DARCY
Late Champion Middleweight Boxer
— of the World —
Born at Woodville NSW October 28, 1896
Died at Memphis USA May 24, 1917
Eternal Rest Grant Unto Him O Lord
And Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Him
May He Rest In Peace Amen
Being Made Perfect, In A Short Space,
He Fulfilled A Long Time. Wisdom IV.13.
This Monument Has Been Erected To The Memory Of
James Leslie Darcy, By His Numerous Admirers And
Friends Throughout The Australian Commonwealth,
As A Tribute To His Unsurpassed Brilliancy As A Boxer;
And In Testimony Of His High And Loveable Character
And Of The Uprightness And Integrity Of His Life