Informations sur naissance

Date de naissance:
Lieu de naissance:
Acton, Middlesex, Angleterre, Royaume-Uni

Informations générales


Informations service militaire

New Zealand
Force armée:
New Zealand Expeditionary Force
Numéro de service:
Incorporation date:
Incorporation nom de lieu:
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
 —  Canterbury Regiment, 3rd Bn.

Informations sur décès

Date de décès:
Lieu de décès:
Bois du Polygone, Zonnebeke, Belgique
Cause du décès:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Parcelle: IX
Rangée: AA
Tombe: 19

Distinctions et médailles 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Points d'intérêt 3

#1 Lieu de naissance
#2 Lieu d'enrôlement
#3 "Lieu de décès"

Mon histoire

Leslie Cracknell was born in Acton, London on 28 October 1883. In the 1891 English Census he and brother Harry are shown at the Warehousemen, Clerks and Drapers School in Purley. Sometime before 1905 Leslie emigrated to New Zealand. On the 1905 electoral roll he is at Motueka near Nelson. He married Henrietta Lash in 1910 – they had two children; Fanny Jean (born 1911) and Richard Leslie (born 1914).

Leslie was working as a gardener in Wanganui when he enlisted on 25 October 1915, as part of the 9th Reinforcement, service number 6/3669. He trained at Trentham Camp near Wellington. He embarked from Wellington on 8 January 1916 on the troop ship Maunganui, arriving in Egypt on 8 February. Posted to 2nd Battalion, Canterbury Infantry Regiment on 3 March 1916, he sailed to France on 7 April 1916 when the New Zealand Division moved to the Western Front. He was severely wounded with shrapnel in the right leg on 15 October 1916 during the Battle of the Somme and was transferred by hospital ship to England six days later. After treatment at 2nd London General Hospital he moved to New Zealand Convalescent Hospital at Hornchurch on 2 January 1917 and straight to Codford Camp on 3 January.

On 29 March Leslie was transferred to 3rd Battalion, Canterbury Regiment. Just before the battalion left for France on 28 May 1917 he was appointed a cook.
On 27 August Leslie was sent to the Divisional school for a week. At this time the New Zealand Division was preparing to fight at the battles of Broodseinde and Passchendaele. His battalion was part of 4th NZ Brigade and took part on the attack on Gravenstafel on 4 October. It is not known if Leslie was personally involved.

The New Zealand Division was in the Polygon Wood area after the end of the Third Battle of Ypres. Much of the time was spent in wiring, repairing crumbling trenches and improving defences. The landscape was covered with waterlogged shellholes. The right of the New Zealand position was enfiladed from Polderhoek and a decision was made to capture the spur on which the ruins of Polderhoek Chateau and German pillboxes sat.

After the unsuccessful attack on Polderhoek on 3 December, the various battalions took turns in the line and in reserve. Neither the New Zealand Division history or that of the Canterbury Regiment give detailed information for the December 1917-February 1918 period so it is impossible to say with any certainty how Leslie Cracknell died on 17 December 1917. The opposing German forces generally held higher ground and movement in the New Zealand lines was often observed and shelled or machine-gunned.

He is among a group of New Zealand soldiers ‘Beleived to be buried in this cemetery’ at Buttes New British Cemetery at Polygon Wood. He is marked at a special memorial in Plot IX, Row AA, Grave 19.

His wife Henrietta died on 12 December 1918, a victim of the Influenza epidemic.

Sources 8

"The history of the Canterbury Regiment, NZEF 1914-1919", Ferguson, David, Auckland, Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd, 1921, pg. 220-221, 300-301.
Sources utilisées
"The New Zealand Division 1916-1919 : a popular history based on official records", Stewart H., Auckland, Whitcombe & Tombs Ltd, 1921, pg. 312-319.
Sources utilisées
Archives New Zealand
Sources utilisées
Auckland Cenotaph
Sources utilisées
Births deaths marriages New Zealand
Sources utilisées
Sources utilisées
NZEF Project
Sources utilisées
Tauranga Kete
Sources utilisées