LEONARD, Joseph Thomas
(Service number 85695)

First Rank Last Rank


Date 6 March 1897 Place of Birth Waimate

Enlistment Information

Date 12 October 1917 Age 20 years 6 months
Address at Enlistment High Street, Waimate
Occupation Shepherd
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Miss Julia LEONARD (sister), Arno via Waimate
Religion Roman Catholic
Medical Information

Military Service

Served with NZ Armed Forces Served in Army
Military District

Embarkation Information

Body on Embarkation
Unit, Squadron, or Ship
Embarked From 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 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations

Farmer, rabbiter, shepherd, barman, lorry driver, farm hand


Date 24 September 1964 Age 67 years
Place of Death Greymouth
Memorial or Cemetery Waimate Old Cemetery
Memorial Reference Plot 427
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Joseph Thomas Leonard was born on 6 March 1897 at Waimate, the youngest son of Maurice and Mary (née Walsh) Leonard. He was baptised Roman Catholic four weeks later, on 3 April 1897, at Waimate. Maurice and Mary had married in their native County Kerry, Ireland, and come to New Zealand by 1879. Thomas Leonard and Hanorah Leonard, brother and sister of Maurice, also came to New Zealand and married here. Maurice played a significant part in the Waitaki Village-Tawai district and in Waimate. Along with several of his siblings, Joseph was educated at Tawai School, the olders ones coming to Tawai from Glenavy in 1890.

Joseph Thomas Leonard was a shepherd, residing in High Street, Waimate, perhaps with his oldest brother Maurice, when he was called up in October 1917. He enlisted on 12 October 1917 at Timaru. He was serving in the Territorials (2nd Regiment). He named his sister as next-of-kin - Julia Leonard, of Arno via Waimate. His appeal in early November was dismissed as he did not put in an appearance when called upon. The Efficiency Board’s report was unfavourable to an extension. He was, therefore, to proceed straight to camp on 12 August.

After the war he roamed and engaged in various occupations – in 1919 he was a farmer at Arno, Waimate; in 1928 a rabbiter at Mesopotamia; in 1935 a shepherd at Yaldhurst; in 1938 a barman at Greymouth; in 1949 a lorry driver at Rahui, Westlen; in 1957 a farm hand at Kumaru, Westland; and in 1963 retired at Harri Hari.

Joseph Thomas Leonard died at Greymouth on 24 September 1964, aged 67. He was buried with his parents in the Waimate Old Cemetery. By his brief will, dated 7 June 1963, Joseph Thomas Leonard, a retired barman of Hari Hari, bequeathed £100 to his friend, Mary Jane Tomasi, of Greymouth, and the residue of his estate after expenses to his nephew Ray Leonard. His brothers, James Joseph Leonard (who enlisted as Leonard James and whose death is believed to be as a result of his war service) and Patrick Joseph Leonard served in the First World War, and another brother, Michael Martin Leonard, also enlisted. The two oldest sons of the family – Maurice Leonard and John Patrick Leonard – were both listed on the Reserve Roll, being married men with children. Three cousins Michael Joseph Leonard, Michael Vincent Foley (with the Australian forces under an assumed name) and Timothy Joseph Foley – all served in the War.


NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [26 February 2021]; Baptism Index Christchurch Catholic Diocese CD held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [26 February 2021]; School Admission record (South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [26 February 2021]; Waimate Old Cemetery burial record [26 February 2021]; Waimate Cemetery headstone transcription [26 February 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [02 March 2021]; Probate record (Archives NZ/Family Search) [02 March 2021]; Waimate Daily Advertiser, 4 July 1918 (Papers Past) [04/03/2021]

External Links

Related Documents

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Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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