Leslie was born in Eccleshill on 25 July 1891, the son of John Altham Thistlethwaite and his wife Mary, nee Baxter.At the time of the 1911 census Leslie was living at Spofforth where he is described as a farm pupil (horseman) and from a report in the Shipley Times & Express on 15 February 1918 we learn that led him to move to Canada only to be brought home by the war:“The fourth military medal for the Eccleshill district has been won by Pte Leslie Thistlethwaite, eldest son of Mr John Altham and Mrs Thistlethwaite of Aysgarth House, Moorside Road.“This is the first medal of distinction that has been awarded
an Eccleshill Congreg-ational scholar.“The recipient joined the army soon after the outbreak of hostilities and has been in France two years. He is 26 years of age and is an old boy of the Ackworth Friends’ School.“After training at the Yorkshire College of Farm, he emigrated to Canada and came on a visit home prior to the commencement of war.”The next week the newspaper published more about his award:“Private Leslie Thistlethwaite of Aysgarth House, Eccleshill, was
awarded the Military Medal on 9th October 1917, for volunteering to fetch in the wounded after a battle.“It was impossible to get the ambulances up to the front owing to the quagmires, and the wounded had to be brought in by the fighting men who volunteered.“Pte Thistlethwaite rendered splendid service by returning repeatedly for more men and came through without a scratch.”On 17 May we read: “Pte Leslie Thistlethwaite who won the Military Medal last year, is reported
missing from April 25th when his regiment was subjected to a six hours’ gas attack and afterwards surrounded.”On 16 August it was reported that he was now a prisoner of war and that was confirmed in a report two weeks later when his family received a postcard saying he was in Germany and “doing well.”From Ancestry files we know that in 1939, Leslie was living at 7 Waterside, Knaresborough with his wife Emily and working as a joiner’s labourer.He was still living at that address when he died in Harrogate General Hospital on 13 May 1949, leaving an estate of £1,314 2s. 7d.