WW1 Leslie Upton Clifford Crowhurst (60081)

Newmarket War Memorial [1]

Leslie Upton Clifford Crowhurst was born on 29 June 1896, to Samuel George Crowhurst and Catherine Elizabeth Crowhurst (Breen). They lived at 24 Eden Street Newmarket Auckland.

He was one of five sons who served in WW1, three of whom died. They were Arthur Frederick Livingstone Crowhurst (24/99) died; Francis Ernest Crowhurst (60080) killed in action, and Samuel Alfred Crowhurst (12/1933) killed in action, and two other brothers fought and returned to New Zealand Leslie Upton Clifford Crowhurst (60081), Victor Roy Crowhurst (12/1934).

Before he enlisted on 11 June 1917, he was a biograph or motion picture operator with Amalgamated Theatres Limited, employed by B.W. Davy in Auckland. He was also in the Territorials, 33rd Company Senior Cadets. He was 5ft 10 ½ inches tall, with brown eyes and brown hair He embarked on 13 Oct 1917 from Wellington on the Corinthic and arrived on 8 December 1917 at Liverpool, Merseyside, England. He was a Private with the 30th Reinforcements, Auckland Infantry Regiment, A Company, New Zealand Expeditionary Force. It was the same sailing as his brother Francis Ernest Crowhurst (60080) Leslie Upton Clifford Crowhurst had a series of sicknesses; rubella in January 1918, bronchitis during June and July 1918 and trench fever (caused by bacteria carried by body lice) in August 1918. He was invalided back to New Zealand suffering from a heart condition, trench fever and gas poisoning. His mother Catherine Crowhurst pleaded to the Military Board, that as she had already lost three sons in two and a half years that Leslie not serve at the front, as her family had suffered enough. Her request was granted.

He was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal and was discharged from the Army on 23 September 1919 Leslie Upton Clifford Crowhurst also served in the Second World War with the 27th Searchlight Battery in Takapuna, Auckland He was diagnosed sick with influenza and coryza, inflammation of the nose membranes in April 1943. On 18 May 1943, he was released from the Army on leave without pay to resume his work at Amalgamated Theatres. Before the war, there had been 60 people working as operators throughout New Zealand for the company, but during 1943 there was only one senior operator, and cinemas were regarded as important for the wellbeing of the public and experienced operators were required to maintain and operate the equipment satisfactorily. He died 29 June 1996. Leslie Upton Clifford Crowhurst is remembered on the Borough of Newmarket War Memorial, Auckland Council Archives.