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Harry Linley Richardson, Lieutenant Leslie W Andrew, VC, 1920

Ref: AAAC 898 NCWA 459

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Leslie Wilton Andrew (1897-1969) enlisted in the First New Zealand Expeditionary Force in October 1915, departing New Zealand with the 12th Reinforcements in May 1916. Prior to receiving the VC, Andrew was wounded at the Somme in September 1916, wounded in the neck by shrapnel. Andrew, who held the rank of corporal at the time, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at La Basse Ville on 31 July 1917:

“For most conspicuous bravery when 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. On leading his men forward he encountered unexpectedly a machine gun post which was holding up the advance of another Company. He immediately attacked, capturing the machine gun and killing several of the crew. He then continued the attack on the machine gun post which had been his original objective. He displayed great skill and determination in his disposition, finally capturing the post, killing several of the enemy, and putting the remainder to flight. Corporal Andrew's conduct throughout was unexampled for cool daring initiative and fine leadership and his magnificent example was a great stimulant to his comrades." [London Gazette, 6 September 1917]

After the First World War Andrew was commissioned in the New Zealand Staff Corps, where held a number of appointments and in served the Indian Army between 1927 and 1929 on exchange.

At the outbreak of the Second World War Andrew was promoted to lieutenant colonel and seconded to the Second New Zealand Expeditionary Force, commanding the 22nd Battalion. As commander of the 22nd Battalion, Andrew was involved in the ill-fated defence of Maleme airfield and Hill 107 on Crete.

In February 1942, Andrew returned to New Zealand and commanded the Wellington Fortress Area. He retired from the New Zealand Military Forces in 1952.

This portrait of Andrew was done after his First World War service when he held the rank of lieutenant.

Oil, 1220 x 870mm
Medals: Victoria Cross

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