Topic: O'Callaghan, Leslie George
A soldier of the Anglo-Boer War and the Great War.
Trooper Leslie O'Callaghan, of the South Canterbury Mounted Rifles, left by the express last night en route for Wellington. He is one of those picked to go up for examination for the contingent. A number of his friends and schoolmates assembled at the station and gave him three hearty cheers as the train moved off. Trooper O'Callaghan spends a day in Christchurch with his people and goes on to-morrow with the other iSouth Canterbury members. The following members of the South Canterbury Mounted Rifles have been directed to proceed to Wellington to join the New Zealand contingent : - Troopers A. B. Thoreau, James Greig, ' John King, Robert E. Smith, and Leslie O'Callaghan. All but the last-named (who went to Ohristchurch last evening) will accompany Captain Hayhurst north by the express train this evening. It is hoped that as many of the local volunteers as possible will meet at the drill shed in uniform at 4.45 p.m. and give the troopers a loyal and hearty send-off. Source: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=THD18991230.2.21&srpos=3&e=--1899---1919--10--1-byDA---0O%27Callaghan+Leslie+captain-all Retrieved 22 October 2009
THE TRANSVAAL.Timaru Herald, Volume LXIV, Issue 3333, 4 August 1900, Page 2
A letter has been received from Trooper Leslie O'Callaghan, of the Second Contingent, by a friend m Timaru, and we were kindly permitted to make a few extracts. The writer says that the Contingent had seen any amount of fighting, and had been •nder all kinds of fire. It was not till he got to the Znnd River that he had the first brush, he. being attached to the Lancers till he reached the Contingent. The Boer shelling was done by the noted Pom- Poms. but no one was hurt. The shells are small, one pound, and the damage they do results more m disorganisation than m personal injury, as they generally need to strike an object before harming it. The Contingent moved to the west of Bothaville to disarm a few discontents, and evidently had a good time, " lived high, there being plenty of geese." They then went north, all that they saw of the enemy being a few patrols. One day Smith, of Timaru, was sent back for something to the rear, got lost, and ran into a party of Boer scouts. He was watering his horse and had his rifle slung over his shoulder. The Boers demanded his surrender, speaking very candidly, and he made a grasp for his rifle, but got a bullet uncomfortably close and had to surrender. Smith was sent to Pretoria until al! the prisoners were freed. " I have seen him since, and he was m good health." On May 25th the Vaal River was crossed and rext day they had &n engagement. " The Boers were uncomfortably close, and the Second Contingent and part of the First were sent to clear them away. Our division under Lieutenant Findlay got going first. We advanced m extended order, and when we got over a small rise we got a few shells, and saw the Boers on the flat m front of us. They were sheltered by ant-hills and peppered us as we advanced" arid we lay down for shelter. When part of the Third came up the enemy cleared, and we went after them for about, a mile. • • • ■ The Boers used explosive bullets. On the way back we found two dead Boers and three wounded, and several prisoners were taken. . . . Captain Chaytor was wounded m this engagement. He was hit by a bullet, which was fired over our heads. We saw no more Boers until we got near Johannesburg and Oliphants Vlei. The Boers were m position there, but the position of their guns was not known. The G Battery, R.H.A.. and «.he New Zealanders were sent to draw their fire. We advanced m extended order, invited their fire, and got it. Several shells landed amongst us, and dirt and dust were thrown over us, one chap getting his helmet blown off. One could not help laughing at the way our fellows took the shelling. Our artillery got going, and then the South Island Company of No. 2 Contingent was sent to occupy the kopje. We clambered across the fiat and got shot at on the way. Our section consisted of Moody. Knubley, Aitkin, and myself. We engaged the Boers, and I was firing with Knubley for some time when he left to go higher up. This was about 12 o'clock, and at 3 p.m. Knublev was shot m the chest. . . . Butcher", of Waimate, stayed with him and did all he could. . . . The rest of the New Zealanders remained on the flat, and it was there that poor Byrne was killed." Details follow of other engagements passed through till Pretoria was reached, where Trooper O'Callaghan accepted the offer to enter the Transvaal Constabulary. He will probably stay m the Transvaal for three months at least, and have a look round before returning. The letter concludes with messages to old Timaru friends, specially mentioning members of the Timaru Football Club. Source:http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=THD19000804.2.15&srpos=11&e=--1899---1919--10--11-byDA---0O%27Callaghan+Leslie+captain-all Retrieved 22 October 2009
O'CALLAGHAN, Leslie George was the son of Arthur Pyne and Florence O'Callaghan, of 16 Craigie St., Timaru; husband of Julia Marie nee Wheeler, of Hadlow, Timaru. Native of The Springs, Lincoln, Canterbury. Lieutenant O'Callaghan was a teacher when he enlisted with the Eighth Contingent South Island Regiment - Squadron F and sailed from Lyttelton on the Cornwall 8 February 1902. On returning he became an auctioneer in Waimate and entered in partnership with E.A. LeCren. Leslie's father was a supervising valuer in Christchurch. Leslie terminated his business when his wife was lucky enough in 1912 to draw a ballot for a run at the top of Morris Rd, Sherwood Downs, Fairlie. She named the run "Leslie Downs" after her husband. They were neighbours of the Heckler's. Captain O'Callaghan 24291 enlisted in WW1, 1st Bn., Canterbury Regiment, NZEF, and died in action on Friday, 12th October 1917, Ypres, Belgium. Age 38. Buried at TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Mr. L. O'Callaghan name appears on the Sherwood Downs, St Mary's Church, Timaru, Waimataitai School and Timaru's South African War memorials in South Canterbury.