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Thread: Victorian Royal Artillery officer

  1. #1

    Victorian Royal Artillery officer

    Hi all
    Recently I picked up a Wilkinson sword RA officers sword, the serial number dates it to 1878 and it has the owner crest and name on it, the name being J.H.LESLIE. I know a fair bit about this chap, he was born in 1858 and passed away in 1943, he seems to have reached the rank of Major and was on the WW1 army lists but doesn't appear to have served overseas as I can't find a medal index card for him.
    I'm pretty sure he served in India in the 19th Century but can find nothing about his early career, and I'm not too sure where to look other than Ancestry, as I've never had a named sword before.
    Could anybody help in filling in the gaps in my knowledge of his career, or point me in the right direction to find out myself. The sword is in it's full dress scabbard and the blade has never been sharpened, so it's not been used in battle.
    Any information would be much appreciated


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    The vast wasteland

    This is your man: John Henry Leslie, and the 1878 date seems to correspond to the date of his Lieutenancy, assuming it would take a while for an order to be processed and produced after he got his commission.

    Lt Col John Henry Leslie, JP, DL, RA

    Birthdate: April 1858

    Birthplace: Hanover Square, Greater London, England, United Kingdom

    Death: January 08, 1943 (84)
    Elstree, Hertfordshire, England, United Kingdom

    Immediate Family:
    Son of Henry David Leslie and Mary Betsey Leslie (Perry)
    Husband of Alice Maud Leslie (Graham)
    Father of Dorothy Ann Shuttleworth (Leslie); Hubert John Leslie; Barbara Maud Sawtell (Leslie); Osward Edward Henry Leslie and Winifreda Alice Joan Holmstrom (Leslie)
    Brother of William Henry Perry Leslie; Charles Frederick Henry Leslie; Rose Mary Robinson (Leslie) and Lt.-Col. David Henry Leslie

    Occupation: HM Army, Royal Artillery, India

    Gent. cadet March 21, 1876
    Lt. October 9, 1877
    Capt. Feb 1, 1886
    Major December 18, 1895
    Lt. Col. ?

    He authored at least one book:

    He had a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Obi. His favorite color was fuschia.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Sidmouth, in the South-West of the UK
    Have you been through the online London Gazette? That should have details of all his promotions etc. The usual format is "surname, full name", though sometimes just "surname, initials" occurs for minor mentions.

    "If I can't be a good example to others, at least let me be a horrible warning".

  4. #4
    Thanks for the info chaps, it's much appreciated



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