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Leslie Wilton Andrew

Portrait of Corporal Leslie Wilton Andrew. Image sourced from Imperial War Museums' 'Bond of Sacrifice' collection. ©IWM Q 70010

Portrait of Corporal Leslie Wilton Andrew. Image sourced from Imperial War Museums' 'Bond of Sacrifi …


  • Title
  • Forenames
    Leslie Wilton AWMM
  • Surname
    Andrew AWMM
  • Ingoa
  • Also known as
  • Service number
    • 11795 AWMM
    • 30250 AWMM
  • Gender
    Male AWMM
  • Iwi
  • Hapū
  • Waka
  • Rohe
  • Religion

Civilian life

About birth

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  • Birth
    23 March 1897 AWMM AshhurstManawatu-Wanganui AWMM
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Birth notes
  • Address before enlistment
    1 Ranui Crescent, Khandallah, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Post war occupation
  • Next of kin on embarkation
    • W.J. Andrew (father), Wanganui East, New Zealand AWMM
    • Mrs B.M Andrew (wife), 1 Ranui Crescent, Khandallah, Wellington, New Zealand AWMM
  • Relationship status
    • Pre 1 May 1916 AWMM Single AWMM
    • Pre 2 May 1940 AWMM Married AWMM


Wars and conflicts

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  • War
  • Campaign
    • World War 2/wars AWMM
      France and Germany (TBC) AWMM
      Created during migration for ww2 records that were listed as western front and need to be corrected AWMM
    • Greece AWMM
    • 1941 AWMM
      World War 2/wars AWMM
      Crete AWMM
    • North Africa AWMM
  • Armed force / branch
    Army AWMM
  • Service number
    • 11795 AWMM
    • 30250 AWMM
  • Military service
  • Promotions/ Postings/ Transfers

Military decorations

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  • Medals and Awards
    • Victoria Cross (VC) AWMM
      Victoria Cross: Awarded 6 September 1917. Citation: "On 31 July 1917 at La Bassee Ville, France, Corporal Andrew was in charge of a small party in an attack on the enemy's position. His objective was a machine-gun post which had been located in an isolated building, but on leading his men forward he encountered another machine-gun post which was holding up the advance of another company. He immediately attacked it, capturing the gun and killing several of the crew. He then continued with his attack on the original objective and finally captured the post, killing a number of the enemy and putting the remainder to flight." AWMM
    • Companion of the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) AWMM
      Distinguished Service Order: NZ Gazette, 21 September 1944. Citation: "For outstanding skill and leadership over the very difficult period 25th November to 9th December 1941. The HQ 5th NZ Inf Brigade and attached troops were captured and taken to Bardia on 25th November 1941. This was not known for certain for approximately thirty six hours. Lt Col Andrew's Battalion was then at Menastir and he tried by all means possible to contact his Brigade and other units. However D.R.s failed to return and no contact by wireless could be made. Until 1st December his Battalion continued to carry on their job at Menastir when food and water ran short and ammunition supply was very low. Lt Col Andrew decided the only thing to do was to take his Battalion and join up with the Indian Division near the Omars. So on the night of the 1st December the Battalion formed up on the escarpment, arriving Omars at 0400 hrs and contacted Indian Division who gave Lt Col Andrew orders to proceed to Musaid and form a new Brigade HQ with himself in command and that his Battalion was to strengthen up the line Sollum-Capuzzo. These orders were successfully carried out. On 3rd December the Brigade was ordered to Menastir to occupy the line previously held by 22 Battalion, handing over to the Indians. At Menastir the Brigade defeated several very heavy attacks by Germans, inflicting extremely heavy losses on the enemy. After three days the Brigade was ordered back to take over Sollum-Capuzzo line again. Owing to the position of the enemy this had now become a more difficult move and the only track from below the escarpment was very narrow and blasting by the engineers had been going on for two or three days to make it possible for the transport. However this was successfully accomplished and the Sollum-Capuzzo line taken over again. During this period Lt Col Andrew showed outstanding courage, skill and leadership and owing to his efforts the Brigade was brought through a very difficult fourteen days. He handed over the Brigade on 9th December." AWMM
    • British War Medal (1914-1920) AWMM
    • Victory Medal AWMM
    • 1939-1945 Star AWMM
    • Africa Star AWMM
    • Defence Medal AWMM
    • War Medal 1939-1945 with oak leaf AWMM
    • New Zealand War Service Medal AWMM
    • Coronation Medal 1937 AWMM
    • Coronation Medal 1953 AWMM
    • New Zealand Long and Efficient Service Medal AWMM

Training and Enlistment

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  • Military training
  • Branch Trade Proficiency
  • Enlistment
  • Occupation before enlistment
  • Age on enlistment

Prisoner of war

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  • Capture details
  • Days interned
  • Liberation date
  • Liberation Repatriation
  • POW liberation details
  • POW serial number
    WWII 8263 AWMM

Medical history

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  • Medical notes

Last known rank

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Biographical information

Biographical information

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  • Leslie Andrew was educated at Ashhurst and Wanganui East schools, Wanganui District High School and Wanganui Collegiate School. He played cricket and rugby and worked for a solicitor from 1912-14 and at the head office of New Zealand Railways from 1914-15.

    In 1918 Andrew married Bessie M. Ball, daughter of T. Ball, Brinsley, Notts., England. They had two daughters and two sons. Discharged from NZEF 21 October 1919. Joined permanent Army and served as Lieutenant Adjutant of Taranaki Rifles, 1920-23. Attached to Indian Army, 1927-29. Member of Coronation contingent, 1937.

    Joined 2 NZEF as Lieutenant Colonel and served as Commanding Officer (CO) of 22 Battalion, January 1940 - February 1942. Promoted to Colonel as Officer Commanding (OC) of Wellington Fortress Garrison, November 1943. Member of NZ contingent to Victory Parade, London, 1946.

    Attended Imperial Defence College, 1947-48.

    Promoted to Brigadier, 1948.

    Retired from service in 1952.

    His medals are held by the National Army Museum, Waiouru, New Zealand AWMM
Read more


About death

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  • Death
    8 January 1969 AWMM
    Age 71 AWMM
    Palmerston NorthManawatu-Wanganui AWMM
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Death notes
  • Cemetery
    Old Levin Cemetery (Tiro Tiro Road), Corner Mako Mako and Tiro Tiro Road, Levin, New Zealand AWMM Returned Services Association Row 13 Plot 158 AWMM
  • Cemetery name
  • Grave reference
  • Obituary
    Obituary: VC Winner dies in Palmerston. (1969, February). Review.

    Obituary: Won VC in France when 20. (1969, January 9). Auckland Star. AWMM
  • Memorial name
    Victoria Cross commemorative paving stone, National Memorial Aboretum, Staffordshire, England Public - Sarndra - Researcher - 29 November 2015 - personal visit
  • Memorial reference



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  • Memorial name
    Dunedin, Victoria Cross winners' plaque, Queens Gardens, Dunedin, New Zealand AWMM

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  • External links
  • Documents
    • Haigh, J., Polaschek, A. (Eds.). (1993). New Zealand and the Distinguished Service Order. Christchurch, N.Z.: Authors. AWMM
    • Harper, G., & Richardson, C. (2006). In the face of the enemy: The complete history of the Victoria Cross and New Zealand. Auckland, N.Z.: HarperCollins NZ. AWMM
    • Who's who in New Zealand (1951-1991). Wellington, N.Z. ; Auckland, N.Z.: Reed. AWMM
    • The Register of the Victoria Cross. (1997). (3rd ed.). Cheltenham, England: This England. AWMM
    • New Zealand Army Expeditionary Force. (1917). Nominal Rolls of New Zealand Expeditionary Force Volume II. Wellington, N.Z.: Govt. Printer. AWMM
      30: 5 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
      WW2 2: WW2 9 AWMM
    • Snelling, S. (1998). VCs of the First World War : Passchendaele 1917. Stroud, England: Sutton Publishing. AWMM
    • RSA review: the official journal of the N.Z. Returned Services' Association AWMM
      Photograph with other VC winners. (1929, November). N.Z.R.S.A. review, p. 5. AWMM
    • RSA review: the official journal of the N.Z. Returned Services' Association AWMM
      Cool daring initiative. (1945). Review. AWMM
    • RSA review: the official journal of the N.Z. Returned Services' Association AWMM
      Historic gathering of gallant Gentlemen [Photograph]. (1945, December). R.S.A. Review, cover page. AWMM
    • Harper, G., & Richardson, C. (2006). In the face of the enemy: The complete history of the Victoria Cross and New Zealand. Auckland, N.Z.: HarperCollins NZ. AWMM
      p.107-110 AWMM
    • The Register of the Victoria Cross. (1997). (3rd ed.). Cheltenham, England: This England. AWMM
      p. 15 AWMM
    • Beattie, P.J. & Pomeroy, M. (2013-2020). Onward : portraits of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (vols 1-5). Auckland, New Zealand: Fair Dinkum Publications AWMM
      Vol. 1: Includes portrait AWMM
    • Henderson, J. (1958). 22 Battalion. Wellington, N.Z.: Department of Internal Affairs, War History Branch. AWMM


Command item
Command item
Add new record Refresh
DateFirst namesLocationRelationshipContact
31 July 2016AllanRotoruaResearcher
29 November 2015SarndraAuckland, New ZealandResearcher

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