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Obituary for Private Leonard Manning

Written by his friends in Bravo Company, 2nd 1st Battalion.

A997234 Pte Leonard William Manning 15 August 1975 – 24 July 2000 (aged 24 years)

Leonard William Manning joined the Regular Force of the New Zealand Army on 21 January 1997, after 3 years in the Territorial Force. From the outset of his career he established himself as an extremely competent infantry soldier. He always displayed a professional dedication to his chosen career and it was obvious to all that he really loved his job.

He had an excellent sense of humour which many of his comrades sought comfort in and enjoyed during the good times and when things weren’t going so well. In fact he had an ability to brighten up any dour situation. He was highly respected by his fellow soldiers and had the potential to go a long way in his chosen profession.

His skills as a soldier were always maintained at the highest level and he took personal pride in his own performance. He also took it upon himself to help the more inexperienced soldiers of his group in any way he could. Pte Manning was looked up to by many of his peer group, and by those who commanded him for advice, guidance and on occasions counsel. The soldiers sought his advice and respected his guidance. Commanders respected his assistance and often used him as a sounding board safe in the knowledge that he would offer honest opinions relative to the intended course of action. He was a friend to all who knew him. He was the type of guy that you could not help but like. Pte Manning was a born infantryman, whose love of the outdoors fostered itself in his love of his job.

Pte Manning whilst serving in East Timor, took special interest in the plight of the local population and often simply sat and talked to them and by his own personal efforts, ensured that the local population remained confident in the security and support that the NZ peacekeeper was providing them. He has left his own personal mark on a number of people in East Timor, both locals and soldiers alike. He was a team player, who always put others before himself.

His potential and skill was recognised by his appointment as a scout. He took pride in the trust his commanders placed in him, by giving him this often demanding and challenging role. A role in which he never faulted. His potential was realised also by his appointment as acting second in command of his section, and again he acquitted himself in this role with distinction. He had been identified by his commanders as having potential and was marked for promotion.

In addition to his skill as a soldier Pte Manning was also a skilled artist and was used on a number of occasions, to complete detailed area sketches and panoramic diagrams.

Len was an integral part of the 2nd 1st Battalion and will always remain as such. He has served and died with B Company 2/1 RNZIR, and his comrades in arms, his commanders and friends will not forget the sacrifice he has made in the support of peace in a troubled land.

Leonard your country is proud of your commitment as you now join the distinguished ranks of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in years past.

Lest We Forget Rest in Peace and ONWARD

ENDS Contact: Captain Hugh McAslan Army Public Relations, 496 0295

Obituary written by Bravo Company


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