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Leonard Whitmore Thornton

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Portrait, Weekly News; 4 October 1944 - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Weekly News; 4 October 1944 - This image may be subject to copyright

Identity

  • Title
  • Forenames
    Leonard Whitmore AWMM
  • Surname
    Thornton AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Bill AWMM
  • Service number
    • WWII 20010 AWMM
    • Vietnam 30011 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    15 October 1916 Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    7 Whareora Terrace, Cashmere Hills, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs F.C. Thornton (mother), 7 Whareora Terrace, Cashmere Hills, Christchurch, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1940 AWMM Single AWMM

Service

Wars and conflicts

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Training and Enlistment

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Embarkations

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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

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Sir Leonard Thornton was one of New Zealand's most distinguished soldiers. He served under General Freyberg in North Africa and Italy during World War 2.

    After World War 2 General Sir Leonard Thornton continued his Army career and was Chief of Defence Staff from 1965-71. He was New Zealand's Ambassador to Vietnam from 1972-4.

    His funeral service was held in the Wellington Cathedral of St Paul with military honours.

    A copy of Sir Leonard's autobiography is held in the Waiouru Museum Library.

    Visited South Vietnam many times as Chief of Defence Staff - not all visits were recorded. Both of his sons also served in Vietnam. Ambassador to South Vietnam, 28 January 1972-7 June 1974. Chief of Defence Staff (dates). Died in Wellington. Awarded KCB, CBE. AWMM
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Death

About death

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  • Death
    10 June 1999 Ministry for Culture and Heritage
    Age 82 AWMM
    WellingtonNew Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    The funeral took place at St Pauls Anglican Cathedral, Wellington, with full military honours, on Tuesday 15th June 1999 at 12:30pm. Maj Gen Ron Hassett gave the Eulogy. 16th Field Regiment coordinated the funeral arrangements and provided the bearer party, firing party and part of the tri-service guard.

    New Zealand Herald 12 June 1999 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference

Memorials

Memorial

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  • Memorial name

Roll of Honour

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Sources

Sources

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  • External links
    New Zealand's Vietnam War Veterans. Personal page
    http://www.vietnamwar.govt.nz/veteran/lt-gen-lw-thornton
    Further Reference
  • Documents
    • Subritsky, M. (Ed). (1995). The Vietnam scrapbook: The second ANZAC adventure. Papakura, N.Z.: Three Feathers Publishing Co. AWMM
    • Hall, C. (2014). No front line : inside stories of New Zealand's Vietnam War. Auckland, New Zealand : Penguin Books. AWMM
    • This record was created from data kindly provided by the New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage. AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1941). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 2 (Embarkations to 30th June, 1940). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.185 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 15 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1945 to 31st December, 1945). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.141 AWMM
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1950). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 16 (Embarkations from 1st January, 1946 to 30th June, 1948). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      p.133 AWMM

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