By the age of 16 he left for Australia, and signed up for the Australian Forces
almost right away. There are extensive Australian war records — 27 pages
about him. They make fascinating reading. Leslie was, let’s say — a colourful
character. (See Leslie Greenleaf in Google, for much more.)
He was in trouble a number of times during his service, for smoking, being late
for parade, and being absent. He was also wounded twice — a gunshot
wound to the hand, and a more serious wound to his body. He was sent to
England for medical care. He also - hmm... caught a nasty disease from a
young lady - and was hospitalised for many weeks. Yet his story does not
stop there — he was awarded the Miltary Cross for bravery. How incredible!
The Two Brothers,
John William Walton and George Henry Walton
photo of John William Walton on page 16.
John and George, the eldest two, aged 12 and 11, of the five children of
Thomas and Ellen Walton, were living with their three younger sisters in Rock
Cottage, Bradbourne, at the time of the 1911 Census. Little did they know
what was in store for them a few years later! Their father, Thomas, was a
Council Roadman born in Brassington. Soon after the outbreak of the Great
War, at the age of 17, John William enlisted in the Royal Marines on the 22nd
December 1915, and his Service number was 20425. He went off to War, and
served on H.M.S. Prince Rupert.
His brother George Henry, followed his brother into the Marines, also at the
age of 17, as a Bugler, enlisting on 27th June 1917, and his Service number
was 15853. They both came back after the war, very “Thankful”.
George appears in the De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour. They both received two
medals, the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.