Topic: Lestock Henry Reid
Lestock Henry Reid (Service no.4/52A) was a First World War soldier with links to Heathcote.
Lestock Henry Reid was born on the 7th November 1885 in Ardlui, Rakaia. He was the eldest son of Mary and Arthur Ironside Reid of 122 Richardson Street, Opawa, Christchurch, New Zealand. His parents married on the 10th February 1885 at St Luke’s church, where his grandfather O’Callaghan Pyne Raine had been a Sunday school teacher who earned his living as an issuing clerk at the Telegraph Department for twenty-five years. Lestock's father Arthur was a tally clerk who later became a Customs Officer and was the son of General T.H Reid of the Royal Artillery. Lestock attended Heathcote Valley District School before being educated at Christchurch Boys High School. He was 5’10 ½" height, of fine physique and good health, with an active interest in rugby.
After high school, Lestock completed his engineering apprenticeship with Messrs Andersons Ltd, and was a prominent member of the Nelson football club, where he was well known and an employee of the Eastern Extension Cable Company in Cable Bay. He obtained his first certificate in engineering in England, and made 2 voyages aboard the Hurunui as a junior engineer. After gaining his second engineering certificate, he was shipped in a tramp steamer.
Lestock was 28 years old and single working as a marine engineer in the Mediterranean when war broke out, a few weeks later able to offer his services by joining the New Zealand Battalion in London, enlisting on the 21st of September 1914.
After training he was transferred to the 1st Division Field Corps and promoted to Corporal three weeks before being part of the first landing sent to Gallipoli on the 24th of April in 1915.
During the campaign at Dardanelles, Sapper Lestock was hospitalised with bullet wounds on the 2nd of May 1915, and sent to Egypt. It was during his stay on the hospital ship Goorkha in Alexandria that he wrote home, letters that would later be published in the book “Letters from Gallipoli: New Zealand Soldiers Write Home” by Glyn Harper and Major General Rhys Jones.
He married Muriel Gertrude Ryan in Clonmel Ireland, the same county his grandfather O'Callaghan had emigrated to Christchurch from, between October and December of 1915.
He returned for duty in January 1916, and was promoted to Second Lieutenant that same month. As there were no engineering vacancies in his unit, he was transferred to the New Zealand Maori (Pioneer) Battalion that embarked for France on the 13th of April 1916. It was during the Battle of the Somme that he died in action on the 20th May 1916. He is buried in the Cite Bonjean Military Cemetery, Armentieres, France. He was 30 years old.
He is remembered on both Christchurch Boys High School Roll of Honor and the Heathcote War Memorial.
- Online Cenotaph record for Lestock Henry Reid. Auckland War Memorial Museum
- Military personnel file for Lestock Henry Reid. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
- Other military personnel file for Lestock Reid. Archives New Zealand (Archway)
- NZ War Graves Project. Casualty Record for Lestock Reid.
- SAPPER L. H. REID. Press, Volume LI, Issue 15272, 7 May 1915
- BIRTH. Ashburton Guardian, Volume V, Issue 1323, 11 November 1885
- MARRIAGES. Press, Volume XLI, Issue 6056, 12 February 1885
- SOLDIERS' LETTERS. New Zealand Herald, Volume LII, Issue 15963, 7 July 1915
- ALL DOING WELL. Evening Post, Volume LXXXIX, Issue 125, 28 May 1915
- PERSONAL. The Colonist, Volume LVII, Issue 14190, 31 May 1916
- EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. New Zealand Herald, Volume LI, Issue 15760, 7 November 1914
- Letters written home in: Harper, Glyn, Letters from Gallipoli: New Zealand Soldiers Write Home(Auckland, N.Z.: Auckland University Press, 2011)
- Jenkin, M. (2015). For King and Country Heathcote Boys who paid the ultimate price with their lives 1914-1918. Self Published.