1 thought on “Inspecting the Guard of Honour

  1. This picture was taken outside Stockton Railway Station 4th May 1956 – it shows the visit by HM The Queen Elizabeth, to Stockton on Tees, arriving by train. The Ceremonial Guard of Honour was furnished by B Company 1st Battalion Durham Light Infantry, and The Guard Commander accompanying Her Majesty is: Major Leslie Fleming MC, whose obituary appeared in the Daily Telegraph, 29June, 2010.

    Major Leslie Fleming MC

    In January 1945 Fleming, then a major, was commanding “A” Company of the 3rd Battalion 6th Rajputana Rifles (3/6 RR) Rifles. His company was defending a section of the perimeter on the top of Pear Hill, a feature vital for the consolidation of the brigade bridgehead on the banks of the Irrawaddy. The ground was rocky and it was difficult to dig in. Attacks by the Japanese infantry, mostly at night, were preceded by a concentrated artillery barrage. The enemy crept up silently and bamboo poles packed with explosive charges were pushed against the perimeter wire and ignited. Stunted trees and the ruins of monastery buildings were used for cover. On several occasions the Japanese broke through, and ferocious close-quarter fighting ensued. Once, they got around behind the defenders, cutting them off completely. When his company was pinned down by heavy fire, at great personal risk Fleming identified the enemy positions and enabled the tanks to give supporting fire while his force drove the Japanese back. The citation for the award of his MC stated that for a period of eight days he and his men were under continuous shell fire and paid tribute to his unwavering skill, leadership and courage.

    Leslie Louis Fleming, the son of a dentist, was born at Hebburn, Co Durham, on December 30 1921 and educated at Leeds Grammar School. In 1941 he was granted an emergency commission in the Indian Army and joined 3/6 RR. He trained with his unit in India and arrived in Burma in September 1944. He led patrols deep into enemy territory and was wounded in the last phase of the Burma campaign. He was mentioned in despatches. After the war he obtained a regular commission and transferred to the Durham Light Infantry (DLI). After commanding 1st Bn DLI, and a number of appointments at the MoD, Fleming was chief instructor at Sandhurst from 1965 to 1968. In 1971, while he was a college commander there, he was made a Deputy Colonel Light Infantry. Fleming served as Commander British Forces Antwerp from 1974 to 1976 and then retired from the Army. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 1979. Major Leslie Fleming died on May 20. He married, in 1946, Sue Howell. She predeceased him and he is survived by their daughter.


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