Leonard E.J. Worthington, M.M. - Conduct bad.
2nd Brabant's Horse 5073 & SA5617
N.Z.E.F. WWI 6/577 & 17/221

 In 1900 Len was rejected for the NZ 2nd Contingent for S.A. because he was short, stowed away, fought, came back to NZ and was able to enlist in the N.Z. 8th Contingent. In 1916 was discharged from the N.Z.E.F. in Cairo when he had signed up for the period of the war then re-enlisted one month later at Addington, Christchurch. N.Z.

Len's father, Robert Worthington, was born in 1844 in Tours, France and arrived  in Dunedin aboard the Derwentwater 2nd December 1861with his brother John. Their father Edward Victor Worthington was a Naval Officer and had sent them out to N.Z. to buy farms as he didn't want them to join the Royal Navy. Someone on the ship persuaded to buy land in Pleasant Point and they did. When the boys arrived in Dunedin they gave their guardian the slip. The Rev. George Foster married Robert Worthington and Catherine "Kate" Jagger, a school teacher, at St. Mary's Timaru 24 June 1869. Kate began teaching at Pleasant Point in 1868 at age 17, she learnt under her father, Henry Jagger, who was in charge of  the public school in Timaru. Robert declared bankruptcy Friday 18th May 1883 in Temuka. Kate and Robert Worthington had eleven children. Leonard Edward John Worthington born 25 February 1872, at Pleasant Point, the second oldest son, and had to stay at home and look after the younger children. Family history says Len struggled to read and write and was very bitter about it as it affected his war career.


Temuka Leader 4 January 1900 Page 2
The War Fever. —We learn that Mr Leonard Worthington, ranger for the S.C. Acclimatisation Society, who has volunteered for active service in the Transvaal without success, threw up his engagement on Tuesday and left for Wellington with the intention of proceeding to South Africa on the chance of being allowed to enlist there. His intention leaked out, and quite a large number of his comrades and associates escorted him to the station, carrying him shoulder high most of the way. Mr Worthington has been a most energetic officer during his term of engagement, and he is of the tough stamp, that should make his services acceptable where hard knocks and sparse rations are the order of the day.

Timaru Herald 9 January 1900 Page 2
Mr L. Worthington, the head ranger of the South Canterbury Acclimatisation Society, who left for Wellington last week to try and join the second Contingent, returned on Saturday, his application having been unsuccessful owing to his height being 2 inches below the standard. He then applied to join in some subordinate capacity, but was again rejected, as there were numerous other applicants for similar positions. 

Military service - volunteered four times and fudged his height and age. His year of birth, age, height and complexion varies throughout his attestation papers, 53 -57 images in his service record. He was born in Feb. 1872 which would make him 28 in 1900 and 44 in 1916.

  1900 2nd Brabant's Horse -South African Regiment
1902 N.Z. 8th Contingent, South Island bat. Co. E. South African War
  1914 N.Z.E.F. Veterinary Corps. 2nd Rfts.
1916 N.Z.E.F. 3rd Btn Wellington Infantry Regt. "G" Coy. 18th Rein.
Service No. 5073 SA 5617 6/577 17/221
Attested April 1900 6 January 1902 17 August 1914 22 Oct. 1914 29 June 1916
Location Cape Town, S.A. Addington Timaru Trentham Trentham
DOB 25 Feb. 1875   25 Feb. 1879 25 Feb. 1875 25 Feb. 1875
Age 28 28   39 yrs 8 months 44 years and 4 months
Weight    11st 2lbs [156lbs]   144lbs 130lbs
Height     5ft 5¾"   5ft 4½ 5ft 3¼"
Last address Temuka Pleasant Point High St. Timaru Tewaite Station 25 Onslow St., ChCh
Last Employer S.C. Acclimatisation Society F. Palliser, Timaru Mr McLaren, Wairapa [sic]  for Mr Riddiford N.Z. Ex. Force.
 Occupation Ranger Farm hand Farm  hand Labourer Shearer

He was a strong swimmer.

Temuka Leader 20 December 1894 Page 4
Three shearers named L. Worthington (of Pleasant Point), Waters, and J. O’Donnell, while returning on horseback from The Wolds, via The Grampians, attempted to cross the Tekapo, six miles below the point. All were swept off their horses, but Worthington, being a strong swimmer, managed to reach the shore and rescued Waters. O’Donnell was swept on to a sand spit, with the three horses. After catching one of the horses he mounted it and attempted to swim it to the shore, but the girth of the saddle broke, the saddle slipped off the horse, and O’Donnell was swept away by the swift current and drowned. J. O’Donnell, 23 years, whose parents reside in Taranaki, was well known as a step dancer.

Mr. Worthington has been the recipient of the Royal Humane Society's medal for saving life.

Jumped Ship

"Undocumented" the word for facts that were not written down. Oral family history, was that Len wanted to be a soldier in the Boer War and he and a minister's son from Pleasant Point, stowed away and jumped ship at Cape Town and they swam ashore and joined an English / South African regiment. 

Temuka Leader 17 February 1900 Page 3 Letters from "Our Boys."
Several Temuka residents have been recipients of letters from "Our Boys " on the "Waiwera". Mr James Findlay has gratifying news of his son, who describes his life on board ship as enjoyable. Although discipline is strict, he considers the general arrangements capital and the food better than could be expected. His engineering experience has stood him in good stead, as he has been appointed armourer to the Hotchkiss Battery at 7s per day. Trooper J. Lilburne, writing to Mr James Whelan, gives a few particulars of the departure from Wellington, where he found many friends, and received a large number of farewell telegrams and several presents. As he suffered but little from sea-sickness he was appointed "mess orderly," which is described as an unthankful job. The men get plenty of tobacco and cigarettes, but so far have had to pay for some of their beer. They have also plenty of books, he mentions seeing Len. Worthington, who is a trimmer on the vessel, and among others with whom he is in daily contact, are Armourer Findlay, Troopers B. Smith, T. Thoreau, J. Connolly, W. White, J. King Armstrong and Dignan (the latter a brother of Mr Dignan, lately bank agent at Temuka). The men are described as being in capital spirits.
    Mr Whelan has received a characteristic letter from Len Worthington, formerly ranger for the South Canterbury Acclimatisation Society. It will be remembered that Mr Worthington made determined attempts to join the contingent, but was rejected on the ground of height. On leaving Temuka on the second occasion he seems to have made up his mind to go at any cost. He got away to Wellington had a final interview with Colonel Pole-Penton, and also with Lord Ranfurly. No hope was held out to him that he could go, but he was advised to wait for the Third Contingent. The following day he went to the camp and saw Captain Hayhurst who said he thought there was no show for him getting away. Worthington expressed his intention of stowing away, and went right to work. He appears to have made his way on board the Waiwera on Friday night, and, presumably with the connivance of one of the hands went below and lay on the lower deck covered with a mattress until the vessel got away. His sensations could not have been enjoyable, for he says he sweated more than a horse could drink and felt as he would be smothered. As soon as he ventured out he was asked what he was doing there, and in reply said that he came there to work and was afraid of nothing. The officer or engineer said they were short of trimmers and he could go to work at 12 o'clock. This he did, and put in a very hard four hours shovelling and wheeling coal for his share of the 24 furnaces. A graphic expression gives one an idea of what the heat was like. He considers his friends would not know him just now. He describes himself as thin as what he has drawn, and which looks like a wax match. He thinks he could not be cut with a spade. The food appears to be very bad indeed, but he seems to have had a chance once or twice to get some tea from the troopers. He thinks it a great hardship that he is not allowed to visit old comrades and friends in the other part of the ship. Incidentally he mentions the condition of his head, now so covered with bumps that he questions if a head reader could make anything of it. His finances amount to 7s 6d, but he writes hopefully of converting this into £1000, and closes his letter with a rather clever sketch of a man in fighting attitude with the legend amount of "get ready boys, I see them, Brady; we'll soon wipe them out." His friends will be glad that he is getting a fair chance of realising his wish.

Temuka Leader 13 November 1900 Page 2
A late letter received from South Africa from a South Canterbury trooper mentions that he saw Trooper Len Worthington in Pretoria, when he presented every appearance of having endured the full hardship of the protracted campaign. Letters from " Our Boys " have so far dealt chiefly with their own doings, but it is well known that there are a good many South Canterbury lads serving in Africa who have not been attached to colonial contingents, and amongst the smartest of them must be classed Len. Worthington, whose anxiety to participate in the South African campaign led to his stowing away on the Waiwera, and then on arrival at the Cape joining Brabant's Horse, a regiment that has been in the foremost of the fighting line. A private letter from a member of his troop mentions Worthington as having seven "nicks" on his rifle butt, each presumably accounting for a Boer. So far his record as a soldier appears to be a good one, and his Temuka friends should be glad to welcome him back.

Temuka Leader 28 April 1900 Page 2
Mr Len. Worthington, who, it will be remembered, when last heard of was making his way to South Africa as a fireman on the " Waiwera," has written from the Cape to Mr Jas. Whelan, and we are enabled to give a general outline of his very graphic letter. On arrival at the Cape after a voyage, which was not conducive to a fattening process, his first thought was to get ashore. Notices were posted up that any member of the crew attempting to leave would be put in chains, and as a further check to any desire to leave Len noticed that the harbour teemed with sharks, and this deterred him from an attempt to swim ashore. "Not," he remarks " that they have much more than a bone to pick if they did catch me." Incidentally he mentions Trooper Lilburne as having been kind to him on the voyage by giving him sugar and pickles. The Cape at the time of his arrival was a busy scene. The Australians were landing, and there were three troopships to discharge, enough men, Len says, to eat the Boers. At date of writing the New Zealanders were fighting, " having a soul-stirring time." Among the vessels in harbour the writer mentions the " Terrible," one of the biggest of men-o'-war, and lost there should be any doubt the writer gives a rough sketch showing her four funnels. The letter, by the way, is written on the-24th March, and the writer concludes it by remarking that the next day will be his 26th birthday [sic], and he suggests that his Temuka friends should have a drink and celebrate the occasion. On a scrap of an old copy of the Windsor Magazine, dated February 25th, he writes : —"I got off the ship by sliding down a rope, and made tracks, I am going up on the hill till the ship goes out." Under date March 24th, he writes: "I am here a soldier, and a good one too. We are getting put-through the riding test, and you would laugh your sides out at some of them, There are a lot of sailors and men who have never been on a horse in their lives." Cape Town, he remarks, is a good place, but things are very different to N.Z. The regiment he has joined is Brabant's Light Horse and his regimental number is 5073. In a postscript he says : "We are going away on Wednesday or Thursday." [Our readers will notice that this determined young soldier is amongst a good fighting crowd.]

Temuka Leader 14 August 1900 Page 3
Mr Whelan proposed “Our Boys at the Front,” making a feeling reference to Troopers Fraser, Lilburne, and Connolly, not forgetting Len Worthington, who had been left to battle his way there “on his own.”

West Coast Times 8 September 1900 Page 4 A LETTER FROM SOUTH AFRICA. WITH BRABANT'S HORSE.
We have been permitted by Mr L. A. R. Worthington, representing the National Mutual Life Association, to make extracts from a letter written by his brother, Mr L. Worthington, now serving with Brabant's Horse. The writer endeavored to get away from Temuka with the New Zealand contingents, but the want of an additional inch in height was deemed an effectual bar to his fighting qualities. Not to be foiled, he went to South Africa on his own account and was at once accepted in Brabant's Horse, a crack corps. How he fares the letter explains :—
I am doing alright at present. I am minding the horses out on the grass. We came to this place last night, and we built up stones and lay there waiting for the enemy. We are not far off Ladybrand ; we will soon be there. We are rounding up the Boers fast. There are about 9000 and within a week there will be a great change. They are not as easy to round up as you think. They keep shifting from hill to hill, that is what is making us so long fixing them up. There are about 400 of Brabant's Horse (my regiment) and they are all good fellows, they are all or most of them South African fellows, and they know the country well. The Boers call us " Red Devils." I was running after my horse just now and I trod on my whiskers and fell over, they are so long, and my hair has not been cut since I got it cut in Temuka in January last. If you saw me you would not be able to pick me out of the lines. I am all in rags as well. I was walking and riding in my drawers. We only had one pair of trousers, one pair of drawers two shirts, two socks and that was all. My trousers were all in rags so I bought a pair to-day for 15 bob. We all made for tobacco, there is not much here, and it is valuable, a sovereign for a piece enough for 3 pipes full. Cigarettes are £12 10s for 200, not packets; 10 bob for 1 cigarette. A chap could make a fortune in a very short time if he only had the stuff to sell. I have had some jolly marrow escapes. There were four of our Men caught by the Boers yesterday and I have a lot of lives. On Thursday we were sent out as advance guards. We were about a mile and a half from the column and about 25 of us were wanting some tobacco and there were some niggers huts not far away and we made for them as fast as we could, and the captain came galloping after us and made us go back. It appears the Boers were hiding in the rocks not far away and when they saw us turn back they thought we had seen them, but we had not, and they poured volley after volley into us. My mate had his horse shot dead under him, but we galloped back out of range. When we got back the Colonel was pleased that we had not lost any, as he expected to lose a few that means 20 or 30. I lost my blanket and waterproof sheet yesterday and it was cold last night ; I just had my coat on. We have not slept in tents for six weeks, the enemy are too close for that, so if it rains it is all the same. I will never forget Wepener, the sixteen days battle we had. I would like to see a paper of it, but we won't get a chance yet.

Temuka Leader 18 December 1900 Page 2
Trooper Worthington, of Brabant’s Horse, arrived at Auckland yesterday, and will return to Temuka at first opportunity.

New Zealand Herald 18 December 1900 Page 5
Two more New Zealand troopers, Sergeant Marshall and Trooper Worthington, both of Brabant's Horse, returned from South Africa, via Sydney, yesterday by the s.s. Talune. Sergeant Marshall, who went to South Africa from Wellington, was well known in that city as a captain of the New Zealand militia, and formerly held a commission in the Queen's Boys, in the Old Country. He was in charge of the remounts taken across to South Africa, from this colony for the New Zealand contingents by the s.s. Tropea, and on arrival at Bloemfontein was, with the others on the Tropea, enrolled in Brabant's First Horse, being given the non-commissioned rank he now holds. Sergeant Marshall took part in the defence of the Bloemfontein waterworks, and then after being sent out with a guard for a convoy of 84 waggons, the sergeant's troop marched through the Orange Free State and the Transvaal, taking part in the Heilbron, Dreifontein, and other engagements. Contracting enteric fever near Heilbron, he was invalided to Johannesburg, and from thence was gent on to Capetown, where he joined the Harlech Castle, en route to Sydney. The returned sergeant speaks in glowing terms of Tommy Atkins as a fighter and a man.
    Trooper Worthington, whose home is at Temuka, was attached to Brabant's Second Horse, having proceeded to South Africa, in the s.s. Lincolnshire [sic] last January. While with the column he saw a large amount of fighting, and was on two occasions wounded, a Mauser bullet in one instance passing through his thigh. Like Sergeant Marshall, he was invalided home, and returned by the Harlech Castle.

Temuka Leader 16 January 1900 Page 2
Off to the Transvaal.— Mr Leonard Worthington again left by the express train last evening for Wellington, on route for the Transvaal, having made up his mind to get to the war, even if he goes at his own expense. Mr Worthington is a first-rate shot, and should be just the type of man wanted at the front.

Temuka Leader 31 March 1900 Page 2
The Fishes Lament for Len. Worthington.
Ye fishes all, both small and great,
Come gather here, from near and far,
Lament with me, our sad sad fate,
For Ranger Len is gone to war,
For Ranger Len is gone to war.

The rivers now are running dry,
Their waters now are black as tar,
And every trout that's here must die.
For Ranger Len is gone to war,
For Ranger Len is gone to war.

All trout well knew his careful way,
No poacher came to give us scare,
Our life was safe when out at play,
Before our Len went to the war,
Before our Len went to the war.

He tried the Governor of all,
And said his height should not debar.
Who said, " My friend, your far too small,
You cannot, Len, go to the war,
You cannot, Len, go to the war."

He went to camp, but got the tip,
The captain there did him debar,
He stowed away in a big ship,
Determined he should go to war.
Determined he should go to war.

There's not a hare but did him dread.
His aim was sure at near or far,
And when he shot the hare was dead,
He's just the Len to go to war,
He's just the Len to go to war.

They tell me now he's got quite thin,
He's fighting up there at De Arr,
Kruger now must soon give in,
Since little Len is gone to war,
Since little Len is gone to war.

The only photo we have of Len. He is dressed warmly, wearing woollen trousers, waistcoat over a white dress shirt and a tweed jacket with a pocket watch and a wool felt derby hat. Photo courtesy of Sandra.

Ye fishes all that rivers roam,
And every eel and also parr,
Join with ma now to welcome home
Victorious Len back from the war,
Victorious Len back from the war.

The Boers by him will soon be slain,
He will come home without a scar,
The Victoria Cross he is sure to gain,
To wear when Len comes home from war,
To wear when Len comes home from war
J.C., Pleasant Point.

The public reception by the residents of Pleasant Point of Troopers James Greig and Len. Worthington was held in the Oddfellows' Hall, Pleasant Point, last evening, and was one of the most successful and enthusiastic gatherings, ever held in the well-known township. The hall was splendidly decorated, the committee taking special pains with this department. The stage was very nicely arranged as a drawing-room. The troopers were greeted with a hearty round of applause as - they entered the hall, and made their way to the stage. Mr George Butler presided, and there were on the platform the Rev. J. White, Mr A. Mee, Mr and Mrs Greig, and Mr and Mrs Worthington. Apologies for nonattendance were received from Messrs J. Whelan, E. Acton and the Rev. Stanley Hinson. The chairman said that he was very pleased to see such a large gathering, and was sure that everybody was delighted to see Troopers Greig and Worthington. Trooper Worthington also replied, thanking, the residents for their present [sic]. 

A bachelor who could ride and shoot.

Timaru Herald 10 May 1897 Page 2
At the batchelors' ball at Pleasant Point on Friday evening there was a good attendance, over sixty couples taking part in it. The music was supplied by Messrs Peake, Prentiss, and Ley, Mr T. Stephenson was M.C., and Mr McAlaster was the caterer. Mr L. Worthington, the originator, deserves thanks for the successful manner in which he carried out the details. He was ably assisted in arranging matters by Messrs Lambert, Dossett, Jones, and Hobbs, and they should be satisfied with the great success which attended their efforts. Dancing was kept up until 3 a.m. next day.

Otago Witness 19 January 1899 Page 46
On Saturday week, under none too favourable circumstances in regard to weather, says the Temuka Leader, the secretary of the South Canterbury Acclimatisation Society, assisted by the ranger, Mr Worthington, successfully transported upwards of a thousand yearling trout from Temuka to Pareora. It was thought; that the attempt would prove a failure but the special provisions made for the occasion; proved efficient, for only 30 fish were lost. The fish went through by the express on the Saturday, and were met by Messrs F. Wedderell and Anderson on arrival at St. Andrews. They were enabled to liberate the fish and return the cans by the following train. The ranger took charge of the fish enroute, and the Railway department kindly assisted the society in every way. A further consignment was to be sent forward on Thursday, and Inter on, by means of a tank, it is hoped later fish can be conveyed. Arrangements are being made to send a supply to the Rangitata Creek.

Temuka Leader 13 April 1899 Page 2
Accident.— Mr L. Worthington was thrown from a buggy yesterday evening on his way from Waitohi and sustained a fracture of the left arm. The accident occurred in a very simple manner. He was in the act of changing seats from the front to the back of the buggy while the latter was in motion, and as it bumped in crossing a rut he was thrown out and the wheel passed over him. It was not until he had been taken to Dr. Hayes that he realised that the injury he had received was of more than ordinary nature. Dr. Hayes tendered the necessary surgical assistance, and although the injury is not of a very serious character it is of sufficient gravity to necessitate his taking a spell for a few weeks.

Temuka Leader 9 September 1899 Page 2
Greenstone. The ranger of the South Canterbury Acclimatisation Society, Mr L. Worthington, whilst visiting the Milford lagoon recently, found on what is known as Greenstone Island two large but somewhat broken specimens of unworked greenstone. It may not be generally known, but there is a tradition to the effect that at one time a good deal of Maori treasure was concealed about this locality, and from this probably arose the name.

Temuka Leader 20 June 1901 Page 2
A party of Temuka sportsmen, ten in all, had a capital day’s hare shooting at Cattle Valley, Raincliff, on Monday. They drove thither, via Opuha Station, in Mr Gunnion’s four-hand drag, and arrived in very good time. Hares were plentiful, and the bag numbered 104. The most successful shot was Lou. Worthington, who brought in 32. Two shot 17 each, and the other guns ranged from two to a dozen. The hares were in capital condition, some of them being extra heavy. ’The return journey was made by way of Pleasant Point, which was voted by far the easiest route. Another big shoot is being arranged.

Temuka Leader 19 December 1901 Page 2
Mr Len Worthington, who served a campaign in Africa under General Brabant, has volunteered to join the 8th New Zealand Contingent.

Temuka Leader 4 February 1902 Page 2
Lance Corporal Worthington has been spending a three days' leave with his Temuka and Pleasant Point friends prior to his departure with the Eighth Contingent. He left for the Addington camp by express last night.

Eight Contingent

5617 South Island Battalion, Company E
11st 2lbs  Height 5 feet 5¾ [sic] Age 28.
Attesting Captain W.S. Lindsay 6 Jan.1902
Rank: Trooper
Rank: Lance-corporal 

Timaru Herald 24 December 1901 Page 2 THE TIMARU TROOP.
Out of the 153 applications received at Timaru, the recruiting officers, Lieutenant Colonel Jowsey and Captain Gordon P. Wood call upon the following to report, themselves at the Timaru drillshed on Friday next at 11 a.m. for the purpose of being medically examined: James Henderson, John W. Canavan, James Greig, Edward Dean, William Clouston, James Findlay, Len Worthington, Alex Miller. K. C. White, D. J. A. Ferguson, William Ellis, C. C. McPhedran, Arthur Wederell, W J. Williams, Rupert Fountain, J. O.J. Oliver, Frederick Taylor, William Phillip, A. R. Wooding.

Temuka Leader 28 December 1901 Page 4
The final selection of the six men from the Fairlie district for the Eighth Contingent was made on Thursday morning. Out of 18 applications, the following ten were selected : H. Bailey, late sergeant Kitchener’s Horse, J. M. Todd and R. Pinkerton, Mackenzie Mounted Rifles, W. Newton, Geraldine Mounted Rifles, George Davies and Thomas Kidd, civilians. R. J McLean was also picked in case of a vacancy. The following are the names of the men selected at Timaru as members of the 8th Contingent:—James Henderson, Orari; John William Canavan, Orari; James Greig, Glen iti (Sergeant in the South Canterbury Mounted Rifles), Edward Dean, Geraldine ; William Clouston, Geraldine ; James Charles Findlay (jun.), Temuka; L. E. J. Worthington, Temuka ; Alexander Miller, Timaru; Ken. C. White, Timaru (South Canterbury Mounted Rifles); Colin C. McPhedran (Farrier Corporal in the South Canterbury Mounted Rifles) ; Robert James Brown, Timaru, and Thomas Moss, Timaru, The men are to report themselves at the Defence Office, Timaru, on Friday, Jan. 3, and be in readiness to leave by the express that night for Christchurch, where they will go into camp, and leave of absence will not be granted after that date.

Temuka Leader 11 February 1902 Page 1 The Eighth Contingent.
In comparison with the ceremonial which marked the departure of the previous contingents from Christchurch, that attending the Eighth might be considered tame. The public and the men themselves were not quite assured as to the order of procedure, but it was finally arranged that the men should be entrained at 2.30 p.m. at Addington and conveyed direct to Lyttelton. At an early hour the men fell in for a little preliminary drill, their kits were then packed in readiness, and some of the tents were struck. Members of the Eighth Contingent, principally Canterbury representatives, arranged a pleasing surprise for Captain R. H. Rhodes, who is popular with them. By a one shilling subscription started by Lance-Corporal Worthington, they raised sufficient to have have photos taken of the non-coms, anti privates. These were framed and suitably inscribed, and presented to Mrs Rhodes by Captain Fooks early in the forenoon. Mrs Rhodes was also the recipient of a pair of silver serviette rings engraved with monogram and crest. Captain Rhodes acknowledged the presentation, and in doing so expressed his opinion that his command would distinguish themselves by their soldierly conduct as those who had previously departed had done. No more acceptable present could have been given Mrs Rhodes, who felt the kindly feelings which prompted the act most keenly. At noon the men were briefly addressed by His Excellency the Governor, who was received by Lieut. General Babington and the Mayor of Christchurch. Members of the staff were also present. The Premier and the Hon. J. G. Ward had previously visited the camp, but decided to defer their addresses until the Contingent reached Lyttelton. His Excellency’s address was principally an exhortation to the men to maintain discipline and to bear in mind that they were fighting for their own country as well as for the Empire. An opportunity was given for personal friends of the troopers to exchange a few last greetings. This privilege was taken advantage of in the earlier morning, and South Canterbury was well represented at the camp, and visitors from this district exchanged greetings with Sergeant Clouston, Sergeant Gregg, Lance-Corporal Worthington, Corporal Findlay, Troopers Newton, Bailey, Acton, Craig, and others, who all appeared fit and well. The troops were entrained very punctually, and on arrival at Lyttelton found a large concourse of people awaiting them.
    The Contingent takes with it a regimental dog, which it is thought will be useful in assisting to work cattle, etc. It was already established a pet among the section having charge of it. Not to be outdone, a member of the E Division who is not remotely connected with Temnka, succeeded in taking with him three kittens. They were snugly stowed in a small portmanteau, and seemed quite content with their lot.

5617 Trooper Leonard Edward John Worthington.
He was a farm hand working as a farmer for Mr F. Palliser. His father Robert Worthington was still at Pleasant Point. He had served 12 months with the Temuka Rifles.  Attested at Addington on 6th January 1902 for service with the 8th Contingent.  The 8th Contingent was divided into two regiments, The South Island and the North Island Regiment. The North Island Regiment sailed on the Surrey on 1st February 1902 and the South Island Regiment sailed a week later on 8th February in the Cornwall. The two regiments landed at Durham respectively on 15 and 19 March so that they saw comparatively short war service. Trooper Worthington was found gambling in Camp. The 8th contingents sailed for home in July 1902.

5617 Crime and Offence Report. (Field Service only) 2nd N,Z, Regt. Daves Column. E Squadron 5617 Trooper Worthington. Gambling in camp in that he did on the 14th June play a game of chance with dice for money. Capt. Montgomerie witness. Punishment awarded 10 days pack drill.

Temuka Leader 5 August 1902 Page 2
Trooper L. Worthington, of the Eight Contingent, returned to Temuka yesterday afternoon by the express. He was met at the station by a host of old chums, all whom expressed delight at seeing him again.

Timaru Herald 25 August 1902 Page 4
In the Oddfellows' Hall, Pleasant Point, on Friday evening last, a social was tendered to the troopers who returned from the war in South Africa. It was a great success, about 300 being present to welcome the soldiers home. The hall was tastefully decorated .with flags and greenery by the ladies of the district. Mr Butler, as chairman, gave the troopers a heartfelt welcome home. Mr J. Chisholm then called up {he following troopers to receive medals in recognition of their service for the Empire:~ Lieutenant P. J. Keane, Sergeant J. Greig, Sergeant J. Cassidy, Farrier-Sergeant W. Gibson, Lance-Corporal L. Worthington, Troopers M. Blyth. A. Mitchell, H. Campbell, P. O'Connor, W. H. White (the last named being absent). At the call of the chairman, the recipients of the medals were heartily cheered.


Twenty-six clasps were awarded to recipients of the Queen's South Africa Medal, to indicate particular actions and campaigns of the Second Boer War. To be worn in order. The clasps on a QSA are always read from the suspender upwards. Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901. We know Len was at the siege of Wepener and from the medal roll held at the Public Office, London we see he was at Belfast and Wittebergen. Individual entitled to the [Queen's] South Africa Medal and clasps, under the Army Order granting the Medal, issued on 1st April 1901.
BELFAST (26 August 1900)
WITTEBERGEN (1 July 1900)
WEPENER (9 April 1900) - Awarded to all troops engaged in the defence of Wepener, Orange Free State, between 9 April 1900 and 25 April 1900,inclusive.
CAPE COLONY (11 October 1899 to 31 May 1902) - A State clasp.  At the bottom of the suspender.

QSA clasp combinations: Army Order 94 also said that anyone who was issued with a clasp for an engagement within a state was not thereafter eligible for the clasp for that state.

Clasps         Actions within the area
Cape Colony     Mafeking – Defence and Relief
        Kimberley – Defence and Relief
Modder River

Natal Ladysmith – Defence and Relief
Tugela Heights
Laing’s Nek

Orange Free State Wittebergen

Transvaal Diamond Hill


Len's QSA medal was issued from the roll of Brabant's Horse - additional clasps & KSA from the NZ Contingent.

The Public Record Office London
I certify that the Individual named in this Roll were actually present at the operations for which the medal and Clasps are claimed as above detailed, N. Bottomly, Capt. O d/c Records 2nd Brabants Horse.

Worthington L E J 5073 Trooper QSA. Source: Provisional list of Wepener recipients Brabant's Horse
Worthington L E J Source: QSA and KSA medal rolls New Zealand, 8th Contingent.
Received 12th April 1906, at Pleasant Point from the Commandant of the New Zealand Defence Forces a clasp for South Africa 1902 awarded for service in South Africa. Witness C.T. Worthington. Pleasant Point 12th April 1906.


Enlisted Term of War
Born 25th Feb, 1879 [sic]  Pleasant Point. Age 35
140lbs, 5ft 5" hair brown, grey eyes, complexion fair.
Report to Dr Stuart Reid of Timaru
Has applicant had previous service: Yes 2nd Brabant's Horse 8 months
Last address High St , Timaru
Farm hand Mr McLaren, Wairapa [sic]
No. 6/577 2nd Rfts.
Aug. 17 1914, D.D. Dryden, Medical Officer, Capt. N.Z.M.C.
23rd Oct. 1914 Medical Officer Major R. Cook.
5ft 4½"  Weight 144lbs
Complexion Dark. Eyes brown. Hair Black.
Age 39 years and 8 months.
Remarks: Fit.
Rank: Trooper

After the Boer War Len was employed as a labourer for Mr Riddiford on Tewaite Station in the Wairarapa North Island. On 22 October 1914 Leonard was attested at Trentham Military Camp at the age of 42 and marched into Camp to become part of the New Zealand Veterinary Corps with the rank of Trooper. He was 5ft 3¾, 130 lbs, of fresh complexion, grey eyes and brown hair. The No. 1 Veterinary Corps joined the 2 Reinforcements, a total of 1752 troops and embarked from New Zealand on 14th December 1914 on three ships. The Verdala was under the command of Major Mitchell and the ships master was Captain S.J. Crosswaithe. The Willochra under the command of Major Charters and the ship's master was Captain P. Neville. And the Knight of Garter under the command of Captain Falla, the ship's master was Captain D. Stephens. it is not known which ship Len was aboard. The ships disembarked at Suez on 28th January 1915 and the troops marched into Zeitoun Camp near Cairo for desert training.

Trooper Worthington was admitted to the NZ General Hospital at Cairo on 21st February 1916 with  Articular Rheumatism and to the NZ Convalescent Home at Helouan on 11 March. Trooper Worthington was returned to New Zealand on board the H.M.N.Z.T. Ulimaroa on 17th March. Struck off strength 17 March 1916. He disembarked 20th April as a prisoner, incorrigible, and was discharged on 2nd May 1916. Character Bad.  

Incorrigible: beyond any hope of reform or improvement in conduct.
3.3.16. He is discharge of being an incorrigible.
He is discharged in consequence of his service being no longer required.
Total service 1 year and 186 days.


Place Abbassia 2 April 1915 [Abbassia is a neighbourhood in Cairo]
1. Drunk.
2. Breaking out of barracks whilst undergoing C.B. Authority Lt. C. Green MMP and Capt. Machaltus N.Z.V.C.
3. Being out of bounds & found in native Bar in Abassia.
Punishment: 10 shillings fine and 14 days detention. Authority Lt. C. Corless MMP Signed D. Hill

Place: Alexandria 3 April 1915 168 hrs detention.   Authority M. FitzHubert 
Place: Alexandria 17 Dec. 1915 4 days F.P. No. 2 Authority M. FitzHubert 
Place: Alexandria 21 Jan. 1916 21 days detention

A chronic drunkard image 27.
CB Confined to Barracks
F.P. Field Punishment

Commonly Used Abbreviations First World War Army Service Records


Commanding Officer: P.M. Edgar Mayo, N.Z.V.C., Zeitoun. 3.3.16
Discharge confirmed at Cario signed by Godley and dated March 13 1916
Service aboard 1 year and 239 days. Service at home 57 days.
Age 41years 3 months
Height 5 4½." Complexion: dark Hair: black

From Staff Paymaster N.Z.E.F., Slade Block, Kasr-el-Nil -Barracks, Cairo, 15 March 1916 to the Quartermaster-General, Defence headquarters, Wellington
re 16/799 Pte P. Kahu
17/221 Pte L.E.J. Worthington
5/351 Pte W.R. Page
Enclosed please find statements of the above named men's' accounts up to and including 16/3/16. These men who are returning per S.S. Ulimaroa are to be discharged on arrival. J.W. Hutchen, Major, Staff Paymaster N.Z.E.F.

Len's records show that he enlisted 22 Oct. 1914 for the period of the war. Has his discharge been approved by G.O.C. N.Z.E.F. Godley, The General Officer Commanding (GOC). 28/2/1916 N. FitzHubert.

Re-enlisted one month later.

Description on enlistment: Age 44 and 6 months. Born Pleasant Point 25 - 1872 [sic]. {He was unsure of the month he was born.}
5ft 3¼ in, 130lbs, complexion fresh, hair brown, eyes grey
Occupation: Shearer
Last employer: N.Z. Ex. Force.
G Company 18th 3rd W.R.
Rank: Private
What is the name and address of your present or last employer N.Z. Expeditionary Force.  Discharged on account of Rheumatism.
Are you married? No.
NOK: Robert Worthington (father) 25 Onslow St., Christchurch
Have you ever been imprisoned by the Civil power? No.
Have you served in any military force? Brabant's Horse and 2nd N.Z. Expeditionary Force (sick)
Trentham 29 June 1916
Medical Officer J.F. Duncan, Christchurch. Remarks Fit. May 31st 1916. Fibrous Tumour middle of back.

Leonard re-enlisted for  War Service and on 29th June 1916 was attested at Trentham and he marched into Camp to become a part of G Company 18th Reinforcements with the rank of private. He was also issued with a new service number 17/221. The 18th Reinforcements, a total of 2024 troops embarked aboard two ships on 11 and 16 October. The Tofua on 11 October from Auckland and the Willochra on the 16th October from Wellington. Len was aboard the H.M.T Willochra under the command of Captain S.C.P. Nicholls, the ship as master being Captain R. Neville. The Willochra disembarked at Plymouth on 29th December and the troops marched into Sling Camp, Wiltshire to become part of 4 NZ Infantry Reserve Bridge. At this stage Private Worthington was posted to the Wellington Infantry Regiment.

Private Worthington was taken onto the strength of the NZ Command Deport at Codsford on 24 April 1917 and was posted to F Company. Len left for France on 27 May. On 26 August Len was sent to a Rest Camp and on 9 September rejoined his unit. Awarded Military medal for act of gallantry in the field 31 October 1917.  He was sent sick to hospital on 30th October 1917 and was admitted to No. 4 NZ Field Ambulance thence to the NZ Stationary Hospital at Wisques with Chronic Myalyia. On 7 November 1917 he was transferred to No. 47 General Hospital Le Treport. Len embarked for England aboard the Hospital Ship Panama on 15th November and on arrival was admitted to No. 1 General Hospital at Brockenhurst 18 Nov. 1917. He was discharged to Torquay Deport on 2 January 1918. Classified as unfit by Medical Board 21 Jan. 1918 Chronic Myalgia. With 818 other troops Worthington embarked from Liverpool aboard the Tahiti on 1 February under the command of Major Wray, the ship's master was Captain F.P. Evans. Private Worthington was discharged on 16th April 1918 no longer physically fit for War Service on account of illness contracted on active service. Total Service 1 year and 292 days.

Did Len pick up a virus from a mosquito bite while he was in South Africa?
Myalgia, can be chronic muscle pain, often due to viral infections, emotional stress and smoking. Other causes can include flu and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) an autoimmune disease that causes your body to mistakenly attack the membranes that line your small joints. RA is not an inherited disorder. Len became very crippled with arthritis.

Temuka Leader 28 March 1918 Page 3
Yesterday Private Len Worthington who has recently returned from the front paid his Temuka friends a surprise visit, getting off one of the express trains as if he had only came from a neighbouring town. Private Worthington is a veteran soldier, and well known in the Temuka district, where for some years he acted as ranger for the Acclimatisation Society. He first saw service in the Boer War, and at its conclusion returned to New Zealand. On the outbreak of the, present war, he was one of the first to enlist, and went away with the Main Body. After seeing service in Egypt he came home again, and then went to France, where he fought with our troops. He was staying with Mr and Mrs Gunnion, and spent yesterday afternoon renewing the acquaintance of old friends.

Military Medal

Private Len Worthington on 31 Oct. 1917 was awarded the Military Medal for acts of gallantry in the field in France, G.O.C. N.Z.E.F. The award was granted on 15th November 1917. The award was promulgated in the 4th Supplement of the London Gazette dated 1 January 1918. , p847

For daring and fearless conduct and conspicuous bravery. During operations near Gravenstafel on 4/5th October, 1917, he showed superb disregard for danger in the way he moved about under heavy shell-fire, and in dangerous places. He took several important messages quickly to Battalion Headquarters, each time subjected to Machine Gun and shell-fire. He attended to wounded men under dangerous conditions, and moved them to cover. He, unaided, captured a machine gun and crew of two. Throughout the action by his great coolness and bravery, he set a magnificent example to his comrades.

The Wellington Regiment (NZEF) 1914 - 1919
Chapter XXX. — Gravenstafel pg 221
Wellington-West Coast Company captured a case of German map orders, etc., with which, during the afternoon, Capt. B. H. Morison sent Pte. Worthington back to battalion headquarters. Worthington had done good work during the day carrying messages under heavy shell-fire. He had also captured three [sic] prisoners and a machine-gun.

Private Worthington was discharged on 16th April 1916 no longer physically fit for War Service. He was awarded the Military Medal, the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  Medal action completed 10 April 1924. He signed for them. Receipt of Military Medal 24 November 19__ signed by L.E.J. Worthington. 

Lyttelton Times 12 March 1918 Page 5
Mrs Worthington. of 25, Onslow Street, St Albans, has received word that her son, Private L. E. J. Worthington, has been awarded the Military Medal, and will shortly be invalided home. This will make the fourth occasion on which Private Worthington has returned to New Zealand after active service. He enlisted twice and saw service in the South African war, and has previously been invalided home in the present war.

It sounded more heroic to be invalided home than for being discharged for bad conduct.


Leonard  Edward John Worthington married Elsie Muriel Hadfield in 1933.
SB Worthington b. 1936 d. age 1 day.
Leonard Edward John Worthington died at Annat, Canterbury on 13 January 1948 aged 75 and was buried at Waddington Cemetery, Canterbury. 

Stepson: Charles Stewart Langley b. Oct. 22, 1920 d. 1987 s/o William Stewart Langley and Elsie Muriel Hadfield
Stepson: Kenneth Lionel Stewart Langley b. August 1925 in CHCH. Died July 1998 s/o William Stewart Langley
Stepson: Russell William Stewart Langley b. February 26, 1926 died 1987 and s/o William Stewart Langley and Elsie Muriel Hadfield
Elsie Murial Langley (Hadfield) b. July 25, 1901 d. 1983 d/o Thomas Hadfield and Mary Hadfield
Nephew, Ken Worthington died during WW2.

Photo taken Feb. 2016 at Waddington Cemetery by Bev. Note all the lead lettering has either fallen off or been remove.

South Canterbury NZGenWeb Project