Topic: Leonard Walter Fleming

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Leonard Walter Fleming (Service Number 11/849) enlisted for the First World War with a Peterborough Street address.

Leonard was born in 1888 in Christchurch. His actual date of birth is variously given as the 1st of August or 1st of September. His parents' names are unknown as he was illegitimate and presumably abandoned.

 Leonard was working as a sugar boiler at "Dainties" lolly factory at 150 Lichfield Street when he enlisted and lived at 108 Peterborough Street. He gave his brother Herbert Fleming as next-of-kin but whether this was a biological brother or a fellow orphan he grew up with is unknown.

 Fair hair, blue eyes and only 5ft 3 inches with small scars on both wrists, Leonard attested on 29th September 1914 with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles. He left with the 2nd Reinforcement for Foreign Service in December 1914 and arrived in Egypt in February 1915. Leonard was then transferred to the Divisional Headquarters' camp as an orderly.

 Now ill, Leonard found himself admitted to the New Zealand General Hospital in Abbassia (Cairo, Egypt). Diagnosed with jaundice he was sufficiently unwell to be returned to New Zealand. He sailed on the SS Willochra from Suez as an extra orderly on the 26th of December 1915 and was discharged as medically unfit, due to his jaundice, on the 6th of June 1916.

 Leonard's war didn't end there, after several months he re-enlisted and in November 1916 was declared fit and joined the 23rd Reinforcement.  In January 1917 he transferred to Headquarters Camp Staff at Trentham as an orderly in the Commandant's Office, before ending up in the Base Records department.

 In between soldier stints Leonard, working as a yard man, lived in Ashburton and met, and married Christina Gabriel McAleer, the youngest daughter of Robert and Hanna of Kaiapoi. They married in Ashburton on the 4th of October 1916 and went on to have one daughter Mary.

 Sadly, Leonard's wife Christina died in 1922 at Sewell Street, Kaiapoi.

 Leonard worked either as a barman or hotel porter in a variety of New Zealand locations over the next thirty years.

 He saw military service again during the Second World War. Leonard attested for Temporary Service on the 15th of January 1941 from his address at St Jude Street in Avondale, Auckland. Leonard served as a waiter mainly at the busy Papakura Camp.

 He was medically re-assessed in September 1944 and due to asthma plus a raft of other medical conditions he was listed as fit only for light duties. He was finally discharged from service in May 1948.

 Leonard returned to the hospitality industry as a barman once he was discharged and to his home in Avondale.

 He died aged 65 years in February 1953 and is interred in the soldier burial section of Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden, Auckland.


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Leonard Walter Fleming

First Names:Leonard Walter
Last Name:Fleming
Place of Birth:Christchurch