Former soldier officially remembered

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Alexander Ledingham can now officially be recognised for his efforts during World War 1 after a cross was installed to his memory near the cemetery in Maheno yesterday

The former Maheno soldier was left off the list when oak trees were planted and crosses put in place to remember all of the soldiers who died in the war.

Mr Ledingham was raised in Maheno and attended Maheno and Kakanui School, before working ion the area.

To make the unveiling of his cross extra special Ledinghams from across the country attended the service in Maheno, which also fell on Armistice Day.

“We are so happy with how everything has gone, it was a pity it was windy, but we are so thankful that the school attended and we had plenty of Ledingham family members there,” said Adrienne Wylie, who is a relation of Mr Ledingham.

The remembering of Alexander Ledingham came about after a photo of him was donated to Maheno School by Debbie Duncan, who found the photo in a secondhand shop about 20 years ago.

“We are so glad that something could be done to remember Alex, it’s so pleasing.”

Mary Ledingham, who is related to Mr Ledingham, said it was an awesome thing to be a part of.

“We loved it, we really did, it was awesome to see the turnout from the school and of course all the Ledinghams and the direct relatives here for this day.”

The placement of the cross near the Maheno cemetery has it overlooking where he used to work. This was something which was important to the family when the North Otago RSA, who are now in liquidation, said they were allowed to recognise him in this way.

Alexander Ledingham served for two years in the South African War (1901-02) after enlisting in the Fifth Contingent of the NZ Mounted Rifles.

Before and after the South African war he worked with his brothers on their farms near Georgetown and Papakaio.

Later he worked for six years in Hastings before moving to Wellington where he married. At the height of World War 1, at the age of 40, he joined the Canterbury Mounted Rifles Rifles. He was killed in action on January 9, 1917, at Rafeh in Palestine and is buried in the Kantara Military Cemetery.

By BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PHOTO: BRAYDEN LINDSAY

PROUD FAMILY: The Ledinghams stand by the cross that was erected for Alexander Ledingham who died serving in World War 1.