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Frederick John Lea

Portrait, Weekly News, wounded - This image may be subject to copyright

Portrait, Weekly News, wounded - This image may be subject to copyright


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Frederick John AWMM
  • Surname
    Lea AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
    Sam Lea AWMM
  • Service number
    287246 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi / Hapū / Waka / Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    27 April 1921 AWMM CannockStaffordshire AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    Pre 18 November 1940 AWMM c/o Post Office, Waitakere, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    Mrs G M Lea (mother), Waitakere, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    Pre 1 May 1943 AWMM Single AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • Italy AWMM
    • North Africa AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    287246 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
    • Waiouru AWMM
    • Narrowneck AWMM
    • Whangarei AWMM
    • Trentham AWMM
    • Alexandra Park AWMM
    • Was in 1st NZ Independent Co. Commando Course in Australia May - Aug 1941. AWMM
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
    WW2 18 November 1940 AWMM
    Age 19 AWMM
    Clerk AWMM
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on 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
      6 feet AWMM
    • Hospital Diseases , Wounds, WWII AWMM
      Wounded twice AWMM
    • Accidental Death, Cause of Death AWMM
      Accidentally killed AWMM

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Lea came to New Zealand from England when he was 5 years old. He was educated at Waitakere School and Mt Albert Grammar School. He was a keen footballer and was Captain of the Te Awamutu Old Boys team when he died. He also played in local teams around Waitakere before the war.

    Accidentally killed in bus accident when a bus collided with a parked truck.

    Known as Sam

    Maj F. J. Lea, MC, m.i.d., US Silver Star; Waitakere, North Auckland; born England, 27 Apr 1921; clerk; twice wounded. (Source: Burdon, R.M. 24 Battalion. p.201.)

    'At 5 p. m. A and B Companies, left and right, were ordered to attack and form a bridgehead half a mile beyond the Idice. Anxious to gain the confidence of men to whom he was a stranger, Major Lea made a point of exposing himself to the enemy's fire, though the reputation he already enjoyed might have precluded the necessity for any special display of courage. All went well until his right forward platoon came under fire from two machine guns which had hitherto remained concealed. There were several casualties, and the advance would have been held up if Lance-Corporal Beckham, of C Company, had not immediately come to the rescue. Accompanied by two others, he tackled the first post under covering fire and killed the German machine-gunners. No covering fire could be given to support his attack on the second gun, but, approaching it by way of a communication trench, he dealt with it in the same fashion before returning to the fortified hospital building. He was awarded the DCM. Its left flank being no longer embarrassed, A Company occupied the far bank and then extended its lines to form a bridgehead. Lea was awarded the MC for his conduct on this occasion and on 22 April when his company captured San Giorgio.' (Source: Burdon, R.M. 24 Battalion. p. 328.) AWMM
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About death

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  • Death
    22 June 1947 AWMM
    Age 26 AWMM
    HamiltonWaikato AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Waikumete Cemetery, Glen Eden, Auckland, New Zealand AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 23 June 1947 AWMM
  • Memorial name
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name

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  • External links
  • References
    • Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force. (1945). Nominal Roll Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force No. 11 (Embarkations from 1st April, 1943 to 30th June, 1943). Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      WW2 11: WW2 75 AWMM
    • The New Zealand Herald AWMM
      Death notice: New Zealand Herald, 23 June 1947 AWMM
    • Burdon, R. (1959). 24 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM
      pp.201-2, 271, 273, 274, 275, 276, 285, 328, 330, 331. AWMM
    • Kay, R. (1967). Italy. Volume 2. From Cassino to Trieste. Dept. of Internal Affairs, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington, N.Z. AWMM
      pp.150-1. AWMM
    • Burdon, R. (1959). 24 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM

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