(Service number 6/3469)
|First Rank||Private||Last Rank||Staff Sergeant|
|Date||27 August 1889||Place of Birth||Christchurch, New Zealand|
|Date||25 August 1915||Age||25|
|Address at Enlistment||Club Hotel, Timaru|
|Occupation||Clerk with Post & Telegraph, Timaru|
|Previous Military Experience||Post & Telegraph volunteers (4 years)|
|Next of Kin||Mrs Sarah Ann Sleightholme, Postmistress Linwood, Christchurch|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Medical Information||5 foot 11 1/4 inches tall, weight 154 pounds (70kgs), chest 35-37 1/2 inches, fair complexion, grey eyes, light brown hair, good teeth.|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation||8th Reinforcements|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship||C Company (2nd SC Regiment) HQ Canterbury Infantry Brigade|
|Date||9 November 1915|
|Transport||HMNZT 35 Willochra|
|Embarked From||Wellington, New Zealand||Destination||Suez, Egypt|
|Other Units Served With||Army Postal Service, Alexandria; HQ 3 Echelon Rouen, France; British Post Office Regents Park, London; NZ Records Office, London|
|Last Unit Served With||NZ Records Office, London|
|Campaigns||Egypt, Western European|
|Service Medals||1914-1915 Star, 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||9 September 1919||Reason||End of engagement|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
9-31 January 1916 - admitted to NZ Field Amb - gastritis; transferred to No.1 Australian Stationary Hospital; 4-19 March 1916 - admitted to NZ Auxiliary Hospital, - gastric enteritis; 3-9 May 1916 - admitted to 30 General Hospital, Calais - Rheumatism.
PO Clerk, Hotel Worker, Manager & Licensee
|Date||20 December 1947||Age||58 years|
|Place of Death||Wellington, New Zealand|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Soldiers Section, Karori Cemetery, Wellington|
|Memorial Reference||Plot 40, G/3, Record No 90518|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Leslie was the only son of Reginald Henry (1860-?) and Sarah Ann (1859-1927 nee Dyke) Sleightholme, and was born in Christchurch on August 27, 1889. His father, who was employed as a draper, was born in 1860 at Burneston, Yorkshire, England. He married Sarah Ann Dyke, also born in England on November 15, 1888, at St Luke’s Church in Christchurch. Leslie was educated at the Richmond and Central New Brighton Schools. In 1904 he entered the Post and Telegraph Department at Christchurch as a messenger boy. Progressing up the Public Service ladder, by 1910 he was a clerk in Wellington, and in 1915, was at the Post Office in Timaru, living at the Club Hotel.
Leslie enlisted on August 25, 1915, giving his mother Sarah, who was Postmistress and Registrar of Birth and Deaths, at the Linwood Post Office as his next of kin. His enlistment papers described him as being single, Anglican, aged 25 years, weighing 154 pounds (70kgs), chest measuring 35–37 ½ inches, having a fair complexion, grey eyes, light brown hair, and good teeth. Posting followed to C Company, (2nd South Canterbury Regiment) Headquarters Canterbury Infantry Brigade at Trentham. Here Private Sleightholme would have received five weeks basic infantry training, followed by more intense training at Featherston Camp. On November 9, 1915, he boarded HMNZT 35 “Willochra” at Wellington, sailing on November 13 in convoy with HMNZT 36 “Tofua”, destined for Suez, Egypt. These two ships carried a total of 2,585 troops and arrived at Suez on December 18, 1915.
On arrival Charles’ Battalion entrained to Ismailia from where, on January 9, he was admitted to the NZ Field Ambulance with gastritis, then transferred to the No 1 Australian Stationary Hospital until his discharge back to duty on January 31. In the meantime training for France was now in full swing. Private Sleightholme again took ill with gastric enteritis on March 4, and was admitted to the NZ Auxiliary Hospital until March 11. Soon after discharge from hospital on March 19, he was transferred to the Army Postal Services at Alexandria as Sapper Sleightholme. Prior to the war he had been a territorial member of the Post & Telegraph Volunteers for four years, and with his previous Post Officer service, would have been well suited to this posting.
On April 9, 1916, Charles sailed aboard HMT “Llandovery Castle”, landing at Marseilles on April 17. His ship was one of fourteen which carried the NZ Division to France during the month of April, a total of 20,776 men and 3,264 horses. On arrival in France he was attached to the NZ Section HQ 3 Echelon for postal duties. Shortly after on May 3, he was admitted to 30 General Hospital at Calais for six days with rheumatism. A posting to the British Post Office at Regents Park, London, followed on July 20, where he was promoted to Corporal on September 15. He again proceeded back to France on November 4, 1916, and was attached back to the NZ Section HQ 3 Echelon Headquarters (NZ Army Postal Service) at Rouen. Appointment to Temporary Sergeant took place on August 18, 1917, confirmed on February 2, 1918. With the exception of a few days leave in the UK in January 1918, he remained at Rouen until posted back to the NZ Records Office in London on November 18. Further promoted to Staff Sergeant on December 12, 1918, he remained in London until embarking for home aboard SS “Matatua” on June 28, 1919, landing at Lyttelton on August 8. After having served a total of 4 years and 16 days, Leslie was discharged from the army on September 9, 1919. Later he was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medals.
The 1919 Electoral Roll has him back in Timaru working as a Postal Clerk and living at the Old Bank Hotel. In 1921 he married Charlotte Jane Durrand (nee Maddock, born at Wairau Valley, Marlborough), in May 1882. Charlotte was the daughter of Enock (1843-1894) and Harriet (nee Henderson 1857-1919) Maddock, and widow of Albert Rowland Durrant (1880-1918), they having had four children. Leslie was to spend the remainder of his working life in the hotel industry; 1928 at 28 Cambridge Terrace, Wellington, Hotel Keeper; 1935 9 Symonds Street, Auckland, Hotel Worker; 1938 Hotel Wairakei, Hotel Manager; and 1946 80-86 Customhouse Quay, Wellington, Hotel Licensee. In 1935 he remarried, to Winifred Mary Russell. She had been born in Scotland in 1900, and died at Auckland October 31, 1963.
Leslie died in Wellington aged 58 years on December 20, 1947, and is buried in the Soldiers Section of the Karori Cemetery.
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [June 2018]; Assorted records at Ancestry.com [June 2018]; New Zealand ANZACs in the Great War 1914-1918 (University of New South Wales) at http://nzef.adfa.edu.au/showPerson?pid=235329; Wellington City Council Cemeteries database at https://wellington.govt.nz/services/community-and-culture/cemeteries/cemeteries-search/details?id=90518&serviceType=Burial&previousPage=%2fservices%2fcommunity-and-culture%2fcemeteries%2fcemeteries-search%2fresults%3fserviceType%3dAll%26lastName%3dsleightholme%26fromDate%3d01%252f01%252f1840%26toDate%3d16%252f05%252f2018%26cemetery%3dAll; "Returning home" in the Star 28 July 1919 p5, courtesy of Papers Past at https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/
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Researched and Written by
Ted Hansen, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
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