BENBOW, Leslie Herbert
(Service number 6/1241)

Aliases Reginald
First Rank Lance Corporal Last Rank


Date 23 November 1893 Place of Birth

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Ormsby Street, Temuka, New Zealand
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin W.C. Benbow (father), Ormsby Street, Temuka, New Zealand
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Unit, Squadron, or Ship 2nd Reinforcements, Canterbury Infantry Battalion
Date 14 December 1914
Transport Verdala or Willochra or Knight of the Garter
Embarked From Wellington, New Zealand Destination
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With

Military Awards

Service Medals
Military Awards

Award Circumstances and Date

No information

Prisoner of War Information

Date of Capture
Where Captured and by Whom
Actions Prior to Capture
PoW Serial Number
PoW Camps
Days Interned
Liberation Date


Date 5 February 1917 Reason Being no longer physically fit for war service on account of wounds recieved in action

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations


Date 29 April 1978 Age
Place of Death
Memorial or Cemetery
Memorial Reference
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Leslie Herbert Benbow was born on 23 November 1891 at Geraldine where he received his first schooling. When the family moved, he was admitted to the Temuka Primary School from 6 December 1897 - his home address was given as Arowhenua and his last school given as Fairlie. Education finished at an early age and he worked with brothers Reg and Willie and one or two other men especially at threshing time, for his father's mill. Both Reg (Reginald) and Les played football and represented Temuka in competition games and both joined the Temuka Brass Band.

War broke out, Les joined and being underage, used his older brother Reginald's name to get away. Promoted to Lance Corporal, he was badly wounded at Gallipolli. The a lung and foot wounds saw him transferred to England for treatment and convalesance in Surrey. This is where he met his future wife, Catherine Bertha Walsh, known as "Kitty", daughter of Sergeant Michael Walsh, of the Imperial Army in India.

Press reports:

- Evening Post, 20 May, 1915 : WOUNDED CANTERBURY BATTALION .6/1241 Pte. Reginald Benbow (W. C. Benbow, Ormsby -street, Temuka, father)

- Otago Daily Times, 2 January 1917: BACK FROM THE WAR CANTERBURY INFANTRY BATTALION. Private Benbow, Reginald, labourer (NOK William Charles Benbow, Ormsby street, Temuka).

- Timaru Herlad, 11 January 1917: "TIMARU MEN - At the Temuka railway station yesterday afternoon there was a large assemblage to welcome home Private L. H. Benbow and Trooper G. J. B. Woodhead. Private Benbow. enlisted with the 2nd Reinforcements and was wounded at Gallipoli. Trooper Woodhead loft with tho sth Reinforcevients and was woundedj in a fight in Egypt. The returned' men were enthusiastically received at the station and were conveyed by car to the Post Office, where His Worship the Mayor made a short speech. The boys who had returned, he said, had done their duty nobly and he extended a hearty welcome to them. ''We pay a tribute of honour to the men who have fought our battles and we should do our best to fight their battles now. We must share and share alike with the wounded men, and look after their interests." The men were taken to the Drill Hall and entertained to afternoon tea."

Leslie returned to NZ and Catherine followed on the "S.S. Rimutaka", a troop and passenger ship. They were married at St Peters Anglican Church, Temuka by the Rev Norris on 31 October 1917. The couple lived at Raincliff Station where Les managed areas of this large run for the owners the Orbell family. In 1919 he was living in Hornsby St, Temuka, and his given occupation was "labourer". In 1921, when his father died, Les took over the threshing mill and plant and worked from Temuka.

Note that Leslie's name is listed in the Nominal Roll as "Benbow, Reginald" and he is listed at Archives New Zealand as "BENBOW, Reginald - [a.k.a. Leslie Herbert]". At some point during his medical convalescence Les obviously admitted to his false name as his service records include a letter correcting his name. Even so, his medals (which were sold in later years) largely bore his initials - apart from one that bre his brothers initial (i.e. as "R. BENBOW").


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database (18 June 2015); see also Winsome Griffin's family history pages at; SCRoll web submission by W Griffin, 4 December 2015 and July 2015

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Tony Rippin (South Canterbury Museum)

Currently Assigned to

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