Lesley Herbert & Catherine Bertha Benbow    Family Chart
Leslie Herbert Benbow WW1
Leslie Herbert Benbow was born 23 Nov 1891 at Geraldine where he received his first schooling. When the family moved, he was admitted to Temuka Primary School 6 Dec. 1897 - home address was Arowhenua; his last school given as Fairlie.

Education finished at an early age and he worked with brothers Reg and Willie and one or two other men especially at threshing time, for his father's mill. Both Reg and Les played football and represented Temuka in competition games and both joined the Temuka Brass Band.

War broke out, Leslie joined and being underage, used his older brother Reginald's name to get away. Promoted to Lance Corporal, he was badly wounded at Gallipolli, a lung wound and foot wounds, so was transferred to England for treatment and convalesance in Surrey. This is where he met his future wife, Catherine Bertha Walsh, known as "Kitty", daughter of Sergeant Michael Walsh, of the Imperial Army in India.

Leslie returned to NZ and Catherine followed on the "S.S. Rimutaka", a troop and passenger ship. They were married at St Peters Anglican Church, Temuka by the Rev Norris on 31 Oct 1917.

Leslie's wedding to Catherine Walsh: Rear - Edith Benbow; best man Reginald Benbow; Leslie; William Jonathan
Front: Agnes Benbow with Gordon; William Charles; Frederick son of Wm Jonathan; Catherine Walsh; flower girl Elsie Benbow and Alice Benbow

AN EX SOLDIER'S WEDDING AT TEMUKA: A quiet but pretty wedding took place at St Peter's Church Temuka yesterday morning, the contracting parties being Miss Catherine Bertha Walsh, of Epsom, England, daughter of Mrs and the late Sergeant Michael Walsh (who served for 23 years in the British Army and ex private L H Benbow (a returned soldier). Youngest son of Mr and Mrs W C Benbow of Ormsby Street, Temuka. The bride, it may be mentioned, only arrived in the Dominion a fortnight ago, after a voyage of 11 weeks, aboard the "Rimataka". The ceremony was performed by the Vicar, Rev A H Norris. The bride who was given away by Mr William Cross, uncle of the bride-groom, looked charming in a pretty costume of grey serge with white tagel hat trimmed \vith white feathers. She carried a white prayer book. The bridesmaid was little Miss Elsie Benbow, a niece of the bridegroom, who looked very dainty in a frock of white tobralco, with white silk hat, trimmed with pink. Mr R Benbow, brother of the bridegroom performed the important duties of best man. After the ceremony the wedding party were photographed by Mr W Holwell and then repaired to the residence of the Bridegroom's parents, where the Wedding breakfast was partaken of, and the usual toasts honoured. The presents were numerous and valuable among them being a china bowl 170 years' old, which has been in the Bride's family for that length of time. The Bridegroom's present to the bride was a beautiful feather boa and a Kaiapoi rug. The happy pair left for the South by the express train. (Temuka Guardian , 1917)

They lived at Raincliff Station where Les managed areas of this large run for the owners the Orbell family. In 1919 - lived Hornsby St, Temuka, labourer. In 1921 when his father died, Les took over the threshing mill and plant and worked from Temuka.

1925 - Temuka electorate; lived at Maude St; Temuka Mill Owner

(Src. daughter Catherine) He had a nice home of white rough cast built by his uncle Daniel McInnes, in the area which was known then, as Sod town. This was obviously because of the number of sod houses there. Over the years Les operated the mill, he travelled a wide area threshing crops and cutting wood. The traction engine was coal fired but wood was necessary for home cooking, so he covered the area from Milford, Clandeboye, Oraki, Geraldine, Winchester and Waitohi. The engine could be heard miles away returning to Temuka, the huge iron wheels rumbling on the roads with metallic clangs as it trundled over uneven surfaces. It was Garret engine and was eventually sold to Ernest Wright of Rangitata and later to Hamilton the jet boat inventor.

1935 - Temuka electorate; lived at Studholme St, Temuka; labourer

1938 - living at Hamilton Street, Mill Owner. 

1946 - St Albans electorate; living at 28 Petrie St; Catherine with daughter Catherine, spinsterDeath: Catherine Bertha Benbow; 7 Jun 1953 aged 73Yrs

1956 - 1966: Christchurch Central electorate; living at 265 Kilmore St; retired

Death: Lesley Herbert Benbow; 29 Apr 1978 Retired, Rotorua

Trade-Me: 2005:
Medal sale - NZ WWI MEDAL TRIO & ANZAC LABEL BADGE Current bid: $301.00 | Reserve met | Closes: 2 hrs 42 mins For sale is this trio named as follows;
Victory Medal 6/1241 PTE.L.H. BENBOW N.Z.E.F.
Defence Medal 6/1241 PTE.L.H. BENHOW N.Z.E.F.
Star Medal 6/1241 PTE.R. BENBOW N.Z.E.F.
The Anzac Label Badge is engraved 6/1241 Note spelling of the name

Photocopying was the technology of the 70's and lacked today's clarity. Your help is needed to update that valuable documentation. Please, if you hold original photos of family members, could these be scanned and sent to give clear images of photos scanned from the 1974 Benbow book by Catherine Lincoln.

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