Topic: Leicester George Harris

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Leicester Harris (Service No. 49537) was a First World War soldier with links to Wharenui School, Riccarton.

Portrait of Leicester Harris. Image posted on AWMM Online Cenotaph. Sarah Amabel 16 April 2015Leicester George Harris was born on 22nd February 1897 in Christchurch. His father was Frederick George Harris and his mother was Mary Anne Harris (nee Voice). He had two sisters, Freda and Jean, and four brothers, Clarence, John, Walter and Arthur. They lived at 75 Picton Avenue, Riccarton, Christchurch.

He was a pupil at Wharenui School and East Christchurch School. His religion was Church of England. After leaving school he worked as a labourer for Dennehy Bros in Barrytown.

He was 5ft 5 ins tall and of slight build with black hair and brown eyes. He enlisted on 3 October 1916 and joined the 27th Rifle Regiment G Company as a rifleman. He embarked on 16 July 1917 from Wellington on HMNZT88 Troop Ship Athenic and arrived in Liverpool England via The Cape of Good Hope on 16 Sept 1917.

The Troop ship magazine “Ye Ancient Athenian” gives interesting accounts of shipboard life during this sailing. Due to ongoing health problems and hospital admissions for tubercle of the lung he was found physically unfit for active service and was discharged on 20 August 1918. He returned to New Zealand on the Ulimaroa.

His active service measured 334 days.

In 1923 he married Grace Marion Hibberd (1901-1997) and had two children Monica and Desmond Harris. He moved to the Hawke's Bay area after he married where he continued to work until retiring in 1957.

Leicester died in Napier on 31 August 1968 at the age of 71 and was buried in Australia.

He is remembered on the Wharenui School Roll of Honour board.


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Leicester George Harris

First Names:Leicester George
Last Name:Harris
Place of Birth:Christchurch, New Zealand