Topic: Dowding Place

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Dowding Place in Waitara commemorates Corporal Leonard Rex Dowding, the first Waitara soldier killed in action during the Second World War.

Born at Waitara on 30th April 1918, Leonard Rex Dowding was the only son of Mr Francis Norman (Frank) Dowding, himself a First World War veteran, and his wife Mary (nee Jones). Rex was educated at both Tikorangi and Waitara Primary Schools, and later attended New Plymouth Boys High School.

After attending High School for two years, Rex worked at the Lepperton Co-operative Dairy Factory for a year, before starting an upholstery apprenticeship in Wellington. On 12th September 1939 he was amongst the first to enlist at Wellington, and after training, departed with the First Echelon. He served with the 27th (Machine Gun) Battalion, and whilst in Egypt was promoted to the rank of corporal.

He was killed in action at Greece on 13th April 1941. 

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Dowding Place