Leslie Alic Craven



Additional Information: 

Son of Alexander and Margaret Craven (nee Herd), of Grovetown, Marlborough. Served in Egypt, 1914-16, and at Gallipoli.

  • CWGC
  • Archives New Zealand
  • BDM Online
Leslie Craven's funeral cortège
Leslie Craven in uniform

Biographical Notes:

“Lieut. Leslie Alex. Craven died at the Wairau Hospital this morning, succumbing to injuries he received at the second battle of Gaza, Palestine. The deceased officer, who was 24 years of age, was the youngest son or Mr A. Craven, of Grovetown. When the war broke out he was a member of the teaching staff of the Grovetown School, and he immediately gave proof of that high sense of duty that was one of the traits of an especially fine character, promptly enlisting and being a member of one of the first drafts to leave Blenheim. He went forward as a trooper with the Canterbury Mounted Rifles, included in the main body of the Expeditionary Force, and he was attached to the machine-gun section. He took part in all the actions at Gallipoli, from the landing of the Mounted Brigade to the evacuation. There be was promoted to the rank of sergeant and then to his lieutenancy, being given command of a section in August, 1916. He was given accelerated promotion for further good work in the field, and he was awarded the Military. Cross for conspicuous gallantry in action at the second battle of Gaza, in the Palestine campaign, on which occasion he was disabled by a shrapnel wound in the spine. He came back to New Zealand grievously paralysed, reaching Wellington on Christmas Day, 1917. After an interval of a few weeks there, he was removed to Blenheim and placed in the Wairau Hospital, where he remained throughout. Lieut., Craven was educated at the Grovetown School and the Marlborough High School.
Visiting Blenheim is Captain R. P. Harper, who commanded the machine-gun squadron of a section of which Lieut. Craven was in charge, and speaking to an Express reporter, he paid a high tribute to memory of the deceased. He said: “a finer or brave soldier never left New Zealand. All through the Gallipoli campaign, although he suffered severely from illness, he could not he got to leave his post. Personally he was, a very fine type of man. and he was greatly respected by all ranks for his; sterling qualities both on and off the field.” The flags were being down half mast in Blenheim to-day as a mark of respect to the late Lieut. Craven.” [Marlborough Express, Volume LII, Issue 241, 3 October 1918, Page 4]

“CRAVEN. —At the Wairau Hospital, on Thursday, October 3, 1918: Lieut. Leslie A. Craven, M.C., son of Mr and Mrs A. Craven, Grovetown; died of wounds received at Gaza, Palestine, April 19, 1917 ; aged 24 years.” [Marlborough Express, Volume LII, Issue 241, 3 October 1918, Page 4]

Public Contributions:

Submitted by: Ray Craven
Relationship to casualty: Leslie was a Brother of my Grandfather
Leslie was born on the 21st March 1894. He was just 20 when he left New Zealand. He was in his first year as a teacher at the Grovetown Primary School (Marlborough) where he grew up. He had been a pr... Read More

Personal Tributes:


Service Number: 
Leslie Alic Craven
Date of Birth:
21 March 1894
Place of Birth:
Grovetown, Marlborough, New Zealand
Next of Kin: 
Alic Craven (father), Grovetown
Date of Enlistment:
15 August 1914
Locality on Enlistment: 
Marital Status:
Occupation on Enlistment:
School Teacher
Marlborough Education Board
NZEF, New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade, Canterbury Mounted Rifles

Casualty Details

Cause of Death:
Date of Death:
03 October 1918
Day of Death:
Age at Death: 
Date of Discharge: 
05 April 1918

Embarkation Details

Embarkation Body:
Main Body
Embarkation Place:
Lyttelton, New Zealand
Embarkment Date:
16 October 1914

Tahiti or Athenic
Suez, Egypt

Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum


Cemetery Reference: 
Section 140. Block 15.
Cemetery Location: 
New Zealand
Leslie Alic Craven
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