Topic: Leonard Ernest Horton

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Leonard Ernest Horton (Service no. 51277) was a First World War Soldier with links to Cashmere, Addington and Spreydon.

Leonard Ernest Horton was born on the 26th of April 1888 in Warwick, Birmingham, England to Frederick, a house painter, and Elizabeth Horton. He had two brothers, Frederick and Percy.

He was 5 foot 4 ¾ inches tall with fair hair and blue eyes and was a Bookbinder by trade, as was his brother Frederick. His younger brother, Percy, was a Compositor. 

Leonard immigrated to New Zealand in 1914 on the ship Corinthic.

He was single and working as a Dairy Farm Hand in Cashmere for a Mr Parish at the time of his enlistment. He joined the Army on the 26th Feb 1917. He had eyesight problems from childhood and was slightly flat footed but was found fit to serve.  As he had no family in New Zealand his next of kin was listed as E. Aldridge of Marriotts Road, New Brighton. He departed Wellington on the troop ship Willochra on the 9th of June 1917.

In August 1917 he entered Sling Training Camp, Salisbury Plain, England.  He left for France on the 26th October 1917 and marched into camp at Etaples on the 29th of October 1917.  He joined the 2nd Canterbury Infantry Regiment, 26th Reinforcements and served in France.

He was sent down to Etaples from his division on the 11th April 1918 on account of 'general debility' the causation being stress and strain of active service and inability to see at night.  He had to be led about at night on a string as he could not see and could not do without glasses.  He was diagnosed with having D.A.H, (disordered action of the heart - otherwise known as 'Soldier's Heart' or 'Effort Syndrome') and was thought to result from a combination of over exertion, mental stress and fatigue. The place and date of the onset of the disability was France in 1918 when he was sent out of line with D.A.H after being buried on Ypres front (personnel file, pg 13). His physical condition was thin and debilitated with a poor physique.  He was sent to the Codford Depot on the 29th December 1918 and in January 1919 he was seen by the Medical Board who declared him permanently unfit for Active Service.

He embarked for New Zealand aboard the troop ship Corinthic on the 12th May 1919, (the same ship he had immigrated to New Zealand on 5 years earlier) and was then discharged from service. In 1919 he was living at 260 Cashmere Road, Halswell. 

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

After the war he returned to Bookbinding as an occupation.  He married Fanny Barker in 1924 and they lived in Christchurch moving about quite a lot.  Over the years they have lived at various addresses including 83 Simeon Street, 102 Moorhouse Avenue, 6 Hawkesbury Avenue, 21 Packe Street, 12 Fairfield Avenue, 35 Disraeli Street and 162 North Parade, where he was living at the time of his death. They did not have any children. 

He died on 8th May 1971 at the age of 83, and was cremated at the Canterbury Crematorium in Linwood Avenue.

Leonard is remembered on the Halswell Hall Roll of Honour. 

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Leonard Ernest Horton

First Names:Leonard Ernest
Last Name:Horton
Place of Birth:Warwick, Birmingham, England