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Leslie Newton Skedgwell

Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait (kindly provided by family) - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Leslie Newton AWMM
  • Surname
    Skedgwell AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    • Newt AWMM
    • Leslie Newton Skedgwell AWMM
  • Service number
    • Korea 206561 AWMM
    • Korea 206561 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    9 June 1929 AWMM StratfordTaranaki AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Korea Pre 12 June 1951 AWMM 13 Ariel Street, Stratford, Taranaki, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
  • Relationship status
    Pre 2 August 1951 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    • Korea 206561 AWMM
    • Korea 206561 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Training and Enlistment

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Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number

Medical history

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  • Medical notes
    • Height, Unknown Period AWMM
      5 feet 9 inches AWMM
    • Eye colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      blue AWMM
    • Hair colour, Unknown Period AWMM
      fair AWMM
    • Weight, Unknown Period AWMM
      11 stone 6 pounds AWMM

Last known rank

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  • Last rank
    Korea 10 June 1953 AWMM
    Termination of engagement AWMM
    Driver/Military AWMM

Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Newt was the youngest child of Alfred Henry (Alf) and Inger Emily (Emily) Skedgwell.

    He attended school at Te Roti, Tuna and Midhirst.

    After leaving school he worked on his father's farm on Salisbury Road, at Tuna.

    He then went to work in cheese and butter factories at Jerseydale just west of Eltham, then Finnerty Road at Ngaere where he was working when he decided to join the Army and going to service in Korea. He did his Army training at Linton Army Camp on the 12 June 1951, which is at Longburn, Palmerston North. On Newt's service record he wanted to be a motor bike dispatch rider, but when he went to Korea it was as a Transport Driver.

    During his final leave before shipping out, he attended a dance at Te Kiri with some of his mates, and there he met Elizabeth (Betty) Revell, and this was the beginning of a whirlwind romance.

    Newt left on the 2nd Expeditionary Force from Wellington on the 2 August 1951 aboard the "Wahine". On the 15 August 1951 at 5:40 am the "Wahine" hit a reef off Masela Island in the Arafura Sea, north of Darwin. In response to a distress call, all aboard were rescued by the "Stanvac Karach" , which took them back to Darwin. (Newt used to joke about the sharks wearing his boxing gloves - as they lost all the gear they had taken on board). The men were eventually flown from Darwin to Japan on 4 September 1951, then into Korea on the 8 September 1951.

    Newt and Betty wrote to each other during his time away, he also asked her to marry him. Betty began her nursing at Stratford's Maternity Unit and boarded with Alf and Emily during this time.

    When Newt returned to New Zealand on 15 April 1953 at the end of his tour, they officially became engaged and married on 23 September 1953 at Kaponga. By this time Newt was again working in the dairy factory, they began their married life together at Makatawa Dairy Factory as a 2nd assistant. His next move was to Lowgarth Dairy Factory, then to Skeet Road where he became the 1st Assistant and obtained his Boilerman's ticket also.

    During the years following Newt and Betty's marriage four children were born, Heather, Murray, Graeme and Neil. During 1964 Newt decided on a career change, and the family moved from Auroa to Kapuni where he worked for Mr Hardy Benton. Then the couple made the decision to go 50/50 sharemilking at Riverlea, where they farmed on the Mangawhero Road for 17 years.

    Then in about 1981 they had the opportunity to go 50/50 sharemilking at Mangatoki, this time on the Lower Duthie Road, where they farmed until Newt's sudden death in October 1985.

    He also received the War Service Medal (Republic of Korea), issued by the RoK in 1951 and which was offered again on the 50th Anniversary AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    31 October 1986 AWMM
    Age 57 AWMM
    StratfordTaranaki AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Kaponga Cemetery, Park Lane, Kaponga, South Taranaki District, New Zealand AWMM Block H Plot 2527 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Information kindly provided by family AWMM
    • Chamberlain, H. (2013). The New Zealand Korea Roll : honouring those who served in the New Zealand Armed Forces in Korea, 1950-1957. Wellington, N.Z.: Author. AWMM
    • Nominal rolls - Nominal rolls embarkation K-force [Korea Nominal Roll], Archives New Zealand, Wellington, AAYS 8638 AD1/1433 (R22440250) AWMM

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