Topic: Leonard Gordon Cameron

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Leonard Gordon Cameron (service number 32562)enlisted for the First World War with a Peterborough Street address.

Leonard Gordon Cameron was born on the 1st of February 1891 to father Captain John Steven Graham Cameron and mother Mary Ann. He was one of ten children.

His paternal grandparents were originally from Glasgow and arrived in New Zealand in 1841 and were reputed to be living in Lyttelton prior to the arrival of the First Four Ships. They also owned the Robin Hood Hotel, an early Lyttelton pub.

Leonard’s father as a young man worked as a lighterman loading and unloading barges at Lyttelton, later he owned several vessels and businesses, and became a master mariner. His father John Steven Cameron died in 1916 in his 85th year.

The Cameron family lived at 22 Peterborough Street and it was from here that Leonard enlisted. Prior to enlistment Leonard had been working as a clerk with the Yorkshire Insurance Company. His attestation was signed on the 27thof July 1916 at Burnham. His height is given as 5 foot 10 1/2 inch with a fresh complexion and brown hair and eyes.

Leonard initially joined the 23rd Reinforcements Otago Infantry Regiment, later, in August 1917 he transferred to the Canterbury Regiment.

Leonard spent his first eight-months in military service stationed in New Zealand. He was quickly promoted to Corporal but reverted to ranks at his own request in September 1916. In October of the same year Leonard was transfered to the Quartermaster stores and was again promoted to Corporal. In November he was made Quartermaster Sergeant.

He left for Foreign Service from Wellington on the troopship Ruapehu on the 14th of March 1917 and arrived in Devonport, England in May. Next stop was Sling Camp on the Salisbury Plains. Leonard left for France in July.

Leonard was admitted to the Walton-on-Thames hospital suffering from a shrapnel wound to his left arm in October 1917. Later he spent time at the Hornchurch Convalesent Hospital before being moved to Codford Depot where recovered servicemen were "hardened-up' for returning to active service. Duly hardened he returned to Sling Camp in February 1918, and then onto France in March.


Notably Leonard managed to find a little time to get married before returning to France, he wed Janet Jack at St Giles in Edinburgh on the 16th of March 1918. He gave his address as 22 Peterborough Street, Christchurch, present station Sling Camp. Janet entered her occupation as hotel waitress at Brown's West End Hotel. The young couple were married without banns and by sherriff's warrant in a legal "irregular marriage".

He was hospitalised again in March 1918, this time he had treatment for VDG (Venereal Disease Gonorrhea). This lasted several months and on discharge Leonard was sent again to Sling Camp where he stayed until he left for New Zealand on the Maunganui from Liverpool.

His final discharge on termination of engagement was on the 21st of July 1919, a service of 2 years and 361 days.


Leonard Gordon Cameron died in Edinburgh in 1975 aged 84 years.

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Leonard Gordon Cameron

First Names:Leonard Gordon
Last Name:Cameron
Place of Birth:Christchurch