LEONARD, Michael Joseph
(Service number 58224)

First Rank Trooper Last Rank Trooper


Date 6 August 1895 Place of Birth Timaru

Enlistment Information

Date Age
Address at Enlistment Ngatea, Thames
Occupation Farmer
Previous Military Experience
Marital Status Single
Next of Kin Thomas LEONARD (father), Ngatea, Thames
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
Date 13 November 1917
Transport Tofua
Embarked From Destination Suez, Egypt
Other Units Served With
Last Unit Served With Auckland Mounted Rifles

Military Awards

Service Medals British War Medal
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 16 September 1919 Reason

Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses

Post-war Occupations



Date 20 November 1969 Age 74 years
Place of Death Auckland
Memorial or Cemetery Totara Cemetery, Thames
Memorial Reference Block 105, Plot 7
New Zealand Memorials

Biographical Notes

Michael Joseph Leonard was born on 6 August 1895 at Timaru, the second son of Thomas Leonard and his second wife, Emily née Godwin. He was baptised Roman Catholic on 25 August 1895 at Temuka. Michael was educated at Pareora and at the Waihao Native School near Waimate. The family lived in the South Canterbury area (Temuka and Waimate) until about 1911, when they moved to Ngatea in the Waikato. His five half-brothers remained in South Canterbury where they raised their families. In 1913 Joseph married at St Joseph’s Church, Morven where he and his bride were members of the church choir.

Enlisting as Michael Leonard, Michael was living at Ngatea, Thames, a farmer, single and Roman Catholic. He named his father as next-of-kin – Thomas Leonard, Ngatea, Thames. Trooper M. Leonard embarked on 15 November 1917 per the “Tofua” for Suez, Egypt. He returned to New Zealand by the “Kaikoura” (Draft 230), which arrived on 19 April 1919. He was discharged on 16 September 1919.

After the war Michael Leonard farmed at Ngatea, perhaps with his father who was regarded as a most successful farmer, and at Mangatarata in the Hauraki Plains. His father Thomas Leonard, who had come to New Zealand from County Kerry, Ireland, in about 1870, died in October 1938. He was survived by his second wife, Emily, who died in 1940, and the five sons of his first marriage and all ten children of his second marriage. Michael married Eunice Maude Dunn (known as Maudie) in 1922. They had a family of six. Michael Joseph Leonard died on 20 November 1969 at Thames, aged 74 years, and was buried in the Totara Cemetery at Thames. Maudied died in 1984.

Michael’s half-brother, Thomas Leonard (77/2280), also served in World War One. Thomas junior, was born to Thomas Leonard and his first wife, Hannah née Brosnahan. His cousins, James Joseph Leonard (enlisted as Leonard James) and Patrick Joseph Leonard served in World War One, while Michael Martin Leonard and Joseph Thomas Leonard enlisted. Another cousin, Cecil John Shaw, served with the Australian forces; Herbert George Shaw enlisted. ; Two Foley cousins - Michael Vincent Foley (with the Australian forces under an assumed name) and Timothy Joseph Foley – both also served in the War. And an uncle, Augustine Lagoria Godwin, also served in World War One. His older brother John was a drover, living with his parents at Morven, in 1911 before their move north. Two older half-brothers, Maurice (Mossy) Leonard and Joseph Leonard, were listed on the Reserve Rolls, both being married men with children..


Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database [26 February 2021]; NZ BDM Indexes (Department of Internal Affairs) [26 February 2021]; School Admission record [26 February 2021]; Baptism Index Christchurch Catholic Diocese CD held by South Canterbury Branch NZSG) [26 February 2021]; Totara Cemetery, Thames headstone transcription [02 March 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls ( [02 March 2021]

External Links

Related Documents

No documents available. 

Researched and Written by

Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG

Currently Assigned to

Not assigned.

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