Lieutenant Leslie Henry Parker Ibbotson

Today’s blog is the result of research undertaken by project volunteer Beryl McKie.  Volunteers on our project generally work on a variety of tasks, from cleaning, rehousing and cataloguing the plates, to scanning and researching the sitters and subjects.  For many of the subjects we research information is limited, for a number of reasons. Conversely, other individuals seem to have had such long and well documented careers that it can be difficult to know where to stop. Today’s subject, Lieutenant Ibbotson, is just such a case and he kept Beryl busy for a number of sessions as she followed his trail. Here Beryl shares her research.DKW_35520_Ibbotson_L

L.H.P. Ibbotson

Leslie Henry Parker Ibbotson photographed here by David Knights Whittome in March 1915 is a 23 year old Lieutenant in the Royal Fusiliers.

Born in 1892 he was the second son of Walter and Kathleen Ibbotson of Hale, Cheshire.  The census of 1911 shows Leslie, his older brother Dudley, sister Nesta and two younger brothers, Norman and Victor living in a substantial house of 14 rooms (Donnybrook) with a governess and two domestic servants.  The parents are absent.  Dudley and Leslie are described as paper importers.  Their father Walter on his marriage certificate is a paper manufacturer.  Their mother Mary Kathleen Ibbotson (nee Boswell) of Dublin was the seventh child of James Boswell and Annie Sloane Boswell (nee Johnson) (Google-The Boswell Family of Dublin).

Leslie’s army record is sparse.  On the General List he was mentioned in dispatches and in November 1915 was in the 19th battalion of the Manchester Regiment in the “Theatre of War”.  He was Gazetted on June 19th 1918 as awarded the Croix de Guerre.  He applied in August 1921 for his medals.  He was awarded the 1914-1915 Star.

Medal card for L.H.P. Ibbotson. Image reproduced courtesy of British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

Medal card for L.H.P. Ibbotson. Image reproduced courtesy of British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

However from January 1921 he was in the Auxilliary Division of the Royal Irish Constabulary (ADRIC), and was on duty in the Limerick area at the time of the “Curfew murders” of 3 men including a Mayor (Clancy) and ex-mayor (O’Callaghan) and a city clerk (O’Donoghue). Two men not in uniform and wearing goggles as disguise went during the curfew to three houses and shot the three men. A Military Court of Inquiry described the events and said O’Callaghan and Clancy were “believed to be connected with the Republican Army but they were opposed to violence” (Times, 12th March 1921).   The Limerick Leader reports that Ibbotson was on duty at the William Street RIC station that evening and was called to investigate the shootings. He was by this time not in ADRIC but a regular in the Royal Irish Constabulary.

He joined the Palestine Police as a Lieutenant in the British Gendarmerie Section in March 1922, then in February 1927 we have Leslie in Sydney applying for a post in the armed constabulary of the British Solomon Islands Protectorate.  On 11th February 1929 he marries Joyce Maddock at Holy Trinity Church, Suva.  The Brisbane Courier describes “a quiet and pretty wedding”.  Her parents are Major and Mrs Maddock of Toowomba.

Leslie and Joyce in June 1932 are passengers from London to Brisbane on the P&O ship ’Balranald’, his occupation is given as “planter”.  They settle in Toowomba and in September 1940 he donates £100 to a British war charity.  He is described as a Toowomba businessman.  The Australian electoral rolls, show the family in Toowomba through to 1943.  He is a “company representative”.  Then they live in the Brisbane suburb of Ashgrove .  Their son Bruce is born in 1936 and daughter Deidre in 1941.  In 1966 Deidre marries John David Stewart McEvry and in 1973 Leslie and Joyce are still in Ashgrove with son Bruce who is a TV engineer. Leslie dies in 1974.  So we have a picture of a long and settled family life in Australia after the turbulence of army life in wartime.


Ancestry: Searches made under Census 1911, General List, Medal Rolls, Curfew Murders, Military court of Inquiry, London Gazette.

Gibbs Genealogy, Boswell Family of Dublin

Trove (National Library of Australia).

Free BMD.

4 thoughts on “Lieutenant Leslie Henry Parker Ibbotson

  1. He’s wearing the signaller’s badge of crossed signal flags on his left forearm in the photo, so was presumably a signaller the notes on the rear of his medal index card also mentions OC (officer commanding) 30th Div Sig Coy (Divisional Signalling Company), and GOC (general officer commanding) 21st brigade, so I’d suspect he served with the section of 30th DSC attached to 21st Brigade HQ. 19th Manchester Regiment were in 90th Brigade in 30th Division until December 1915 when they transferred to 21st Brigade (which had just been put into 30th Div, this was a regular brigade which then had one each of its regular battalions distributed among the brigades of 30th Div, a Kitchener’s Army formation, to stiffen them up and provide experience), so he may well have been a battalion signaller who then moved up to brigade level as the demands on signallers were high as it was a risky business trying to mend phone cables and the like while under fire.


    • Thanks for your comments. This kind of understanding of how regiments and brigades overlapped is very confusing. Your input is much appreciated. We will follow up the Officer Record for this individual and add anything we find to the post.


      • It does take a bit of getting your head around, fortunately I’d researched a 24 Division signaller before. I should have linked to this page which has the divisional order of battle at the bottom, which is what I used to check its composition (though there are a few typos which make it slightly confusing, one reference to 21st Division should be 21st Brigade and the other should be 91st Brigade I think – basically the 21st Brigade and 91st Brigade were swapped between 30th Division and 7th Division).


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