John Heatlie Lesliegrandfather's military record
Posted on Wednesday, April 03, 2013
While digging about in my Family Tree I found my late Grandfather's medal record in the National Archives. John's birth certificate (b.Aug 24 1919 - 7 Mountjoy Terrace, Musselburgh ) showed that his mother was a Jessie Heatlie. I have been unable to trace her. John was later brought up within the Leslie family by William John Leslie. Searching for John Heatlie / Leslie yielded no results in military records, however a fuzzy search found the following in the London Gazette (21 June 1945):
No. 3129711 Lance-Corporal John Heatley LESLIE, The Royal Scots Fusiliers (Musselburgh,Midltohian)
With this information, the medal record was found in the National Archives. A digital copy can be read here : John-Heatley-Leslie-1st_Batalion_Royal_Scots_Fusiliers
I have scribed this below:
29th Infantry Brigade. 26 Division. 15 March 1945 - Date of Recommendation Unit: 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers Regisration No: 3129711 Rank and Name: Fusilier John Heatly LESLIE Action for which commended: North Burma Campaign On 27 Feb 1945, Fus Leslie was a Bren gunner in the leading platoon of his company engaged in clearing enemy opposition between SINDEGON and ONMA. His platoon came under heavy and accurate fire from a MMG and two IMG's so that two sections were unable to move. This Fusilier, with his Section Commander, worked forward round the flank to engae the enemy and draw the fire off their platoon. He personally shot a Japanes who was throwing a grenade and another who was attempting to take cover. He then came under very heavy fire, widrew to his own forward troops and gave coving fire for the withdrawl of his platoon. Later on in the day , as acting Section Commander, when another platoon was held up, Fus. Leslie's platioon was ordered to attack with the bayonet accross open padd field. Fus Leslie led the attack with his Platoon Sgt and Coy Comd, firing as he advanced. On reaching the edge of their objective they were met by a shower of grenades and found it impossible to force their way through the thick scrub which covered the enemy position. One grenade burst in front of Fus. Leslie and cut him in several places about the face. Although blown off his feet, and in full view and under heavy fire from the enemy, he quickly return the fire and when he had finished his magazines he threw grenades. All this time he was shouting encouragement to his comrades and passing on orders to his men. Eventually the enemy was forced to withdraw. He refused to be evacuated until the whole area was cleared and in spite of severe pain and ????? his high spirits and cheerful ???????? were an example to all. Fus. Leslie's courage and aggresive determination to ????? with the enemy was of the highest orders his example was an inspiration to all and greatly contributed to the ejection of the enemy from a strong position which constituted a dangerous threat to the battalion area. Recommended: G.E.R. BASTIN. Brigadier, Commanding 29th Infantry Briagade 19 Mar 1945 ** Recommended: F.W. Festing Maj/Gen 30th Division *** Recommended by Lietineant Cololral SLOANE 1st Battalion Royal Scots Fusilers ****
Military Medal (MM) The Military Medal (MM) was awarded to warrant and non-commissioned ranks for gallantry in action against the enemy. * MMG = Medium Machine Gun ** http://www.generals.dk/general/Bastin/George_Edward_Restalic/Great_Britain.html ** http://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw109353/George-Edward-Restalic-Bastin?LinkID=mp76657&role=sit&rNo=0 *** http://www.unithistories.com/units_british/36InfDiv.html **** http://www.specialforcesroh.com/image-1763.html
22nd October 1947, John Married Elizabeth Manson at Northesk Manse, Musselburgh. John was resident 20 Goosegreen Avenue - the home of father William John Leslie. At this point , John was listed as a Motor Driver. Elizabeth (Dot), daughter of Grocer Donald Manson lived in 27 Stoneybank Avenue.
Keith,Fiona(Faye), John (Jock), Anne, Janis, Doreen & Gillian. Pictured below at Dot's 90th Birthday celebration in 2012.
John Heatlie Leslie died in 1968.