FIFIELD, Leslie Gibbs
(Service number 12371)
|First Rank||Rifleman||Last Rank||Corporal|
|Date||9 April 1895||Place of Birth||Woodbury, South Canterbury, New Zealand|
|Date||11 January 1916||Age||20 Years 7 months|
|Address at Enlistment||5 Clive Street, Napier|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Next of Kin||Mr Joseph Fifield (father) Woodbury, South Canterbury|
|Medical Information||5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 132lb, Minimum chest measurement 31 1/2 inches, maximum chest measurement 35 1/2 inches. He is of a dark complexion, has hazel eyes, with brown hair.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||Main Body|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||F Company, 12th Reinforcements, 1st Battalion, 3rd New Zealand Rifle Brigade|
|Date||11 January 1916|
|Transport||HMNZT 53 Navua|
|Embarked From||Wellington, N.Z.||Destination||South Hampton, England|
|Other Units Served With||3rd Brigade Headquarters|
|Last Unit Served With||3rd Brigade Headquarters|
|Service Medals||British War Medal; Victory Medal|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
|Date||Reason||Termination of his period of engagement|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
23 November 1917 - 11th General Hospital - Condition listed as severe (no further details]
|Date||11 January 1974||Age||78 Years|
|Place of Death||New Plymouth|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Te Henui Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Services Area, Block E, Plot 218|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Leslie Gibbs Fifield the son of Joseph and Sarah Fifield (nee Evans) was born on 9 April 1895 in Woodbury, South Canterbury. Leslie had five brothers and one sister: Edward John, Frederick, Joseph, Doreen Annie, Allan Thomas, and Henry Clive. Edward, Frederick, and Joseph alson served in the First World War. Joseph was to lose his life at Chunuk Bair in Gallipoli.
Leslie worked for Mr R. H. J. Hamlin as a taxi driver, in Napier at the time of his enlistment. The medical officer who conducted Leslie' medical described him as being 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighing 132lb with a maximum chest measurement of 35 and a half inches and a minimum measurement of 31 and a half inches. He was of a dark complexion with brown hair and hazel eyes.
Leslie left Wellington with the 12th Reinforcements on 11 January 1916, with HMNZT 51 Tafua, calling in at Suez and Alexandria on the way to 'South Camp' before leaving for France on 20 August 1916. The reinforcements marched into Etaples Base Depot the next day. On 28 September 1916 he was posted to D Company with the 1st Battalion which was on the front line. He then had a number of postings for training while still in the field. On 20 December 1916, Leslie was attached to the Division School for a week before rejoining the Battalion in the field on 28 December 1916. On 11 March 1917, Leslie was attached to the Corp School for a week before rejoining his Battalion on 18 March 1917. Leslie was then attached to the 3rd Brigade Headquarters on 23 April 1917, before rejoining the Battalion on the 12 May 1917. On 27 July 1917, he was detached from the Battalion again and sent to the General Headquarters small arms school, from which he rejoined the unit as a batman on 14 August 1917. From there he was sent to the Bomb Squad and Stoke Mortar school on 27 September 1917, rejoining his unit on 20 October 1917.
On 23 November 1917, Leslie was evacuated from the field and admitted to the field hospital then on to the 11th General Hospital in France on 26 November 1917. His condition was listed as severe. He was transferred to England on 5 December and admitted to the City of London Military Hospital in Clapton on 6 December 1917. He improved and was then transferred to the No 2 New Zealand General Hospital before being transferred to the New Zealand Convalescent Hospital in Hornchurch on 8 January 1918. After going on leave Leslie was discharged from Hospital on 31 January 1918 and on 11 August 1918, he was back on strength at Hornchurch. On 11 November 1918, he was attached to the Rifle Brigade Reserve Depot at Brocton, before being marched out to Codford on 23 December 1918.
Leslie was appointed temporary Corporal on 12 March 1919, which was backdated to 14 January 1919 when he was in Codford. On 17 August 1919, he was detached from Codford and told to report to Sling Camp from which he embarked aboard the Remuera at Plymouth on 12 September 1919 and returned to New Zealand disembarking at Auckland on 26 September 1919. Leslie served for 3 years 176 days on active service. He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
After the war Leslie married Beatrice Blowman in 1924.
Leslie died in New Plymouth, Taranaki, New Zealand on 11 January 1974.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [16 September 2016]; NZ Defence Force Personnel Records (Archives NZ ref, AABK 18805 W5539 0039810) [25 September 2016].
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