LEONARD, Michael Martin
(Service number N/N)
|First Rank||Last Rank|
|Date||3 November 1881||Place of Birth||Waimate|
|Date||8 June 1918||Age||36 years 6 months|
|Address at Enlistment||St Andrews, Timaru|
|Occupation||Farmer, stock agent|
|Previous Military Experience|
|Marital Status||Married. One child|
|Next of Kin||Mrs C. LEONARD (wife), St Andrews, South Canterbury|
|Served with||NZ Armed Forces||Served in||Army|
|Body on Embarkation|
|Unit, Squadron, or Ship|
|Other Units Served With|
|Last Unit Served With|
Award Circumstances and Date
Prisoner of War Information
|Date of Capture|
|Where Captured and by Whom|
|Actions Prior to Capture|
|PoW Serial Number|
Hospitals, Wounds, Diseases and Illnesses
|Date||2 June 1970||Age||88 years|
|Place of Death||Waimate|
|Memorial or Cemetery||Waimate Lawn Cemetery|
|Memorial Reference||Plot 990|
|New Zealand Memorials|
Michael Martin Leonard was born on 3 November 1881 at Waimate, the third son of Maurice and Mary (née Walsh) Leonard. He was baptised Roman Catholic two days later, on 5 November 1881, 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 his older siblings, Michael was educated at Glenavy School and transferred to Tawai in December 1890. He left school at the age of fourteen. Michael Leonard was best man for his oldest brother, Maurice, at his wedding on 3 November 1904 at St Joseph’s Church, Morven.
Michael married Catherine Cecilia Packer (a sister of James Packer who served in World War I) on 18 January 1911 at Waimate. Their only child, Martin Joseph Leonard was born on 3 March 1912 at Geraldine. Martin started school at Fairlie and transferred to St Andrews School in February 1918.
In 1911 and 1914 Michael and Kate, as she was known, were farming at Tripp Settlement, Woodbury. There he was listed on the Reserve Roll. He was a stock agent at St Andrews when his name was drawn in the ballot in May 1918. Attesting on 8 June 1918 at Timaru, he gave his occupation as farmer (National Mortgage) and named his wife as next-of-kin – Mrs C. Leonard, St Andrews, South Canterbury. He had very slight impairment of his right wrist, having broken his arm in November 1917.
After the war Michael and Catherine continued to farm in the Waimate district. Michael Martin Leonard died at Waimate on 2 June 1970, aged 88 years. He was buried in the Waimate Lawn Cemetery, his wife buried with him in 1977. 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, Joseph Thomas 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 Lawn Cemetery headstone transcription [26 February 2021]; Waimate Lawn Cemetery headstone image (Waimate District Council) [03 March 2021]; NZ Electoral Rolls (ancestry.com.au) [02 March 2021]
No documents available.
Researched and Written by
Teresa Scott, SC branch NZSG
Currently Assigned to
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License unless otherwise stated.
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