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Henry Leslie MESSENGER (1888-1976)

Biographical Details

Henry Leslie Messenger (1888-1976), known as Leslie, married Lily Wood who was a “kind of sister” to the Sladden family.

Leslie Messenger was born at Hampstead, London, on 6th October 1888, the eldest of three children of Henry Williams Messenger, a dental surgeon, and his wife, Marion (née Maitland).  Leslie grew up in Hampstead and Pinner.  He became a dental surgeon like his father.  He trained at Guy’s Hospital where he met his future wife, Lily Wood, who was a nurse.

The Messenger family lived at 47 Rosslyn Hill, Hampstead so, when Juliet Sladden was at school in Highgate, she sometimes called on them.  Juliet was very impressed with Leslie who gallantly walked her across Hampstead Heath back to school.  She also said he was very tall; at 6’3” he towered above his wife.

Leslie and Lily had three children:  John Stanley (1917-2013), Kenneth Guy (1920-1993) and Margaret Helen (1924-2016).  The eldest boy was born when Leslie was serving in Salonika.  Leslie had enlisted with the Royal Army Medical Corps and was based in Macedonia from August 1916 to April 1919.  He was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross with bar and the Croix de Guerre.

By the 1920s and 1930s the Messengers were living at 11 Alderton Crescent, Hendon.  Some time in the 1940s it seems that Leslie and Lily had separated as they were living apart.  Shortly after Lily’s death in the second quarter of 1969, Henry married Joan Mary May on 7th July 1969 in Reading.

Leslie died on 15th July 1976 at Heron’s Gate, High Street, Sonning, aged 87.

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