Military Wiki

George Cunningham Leslie
Born (1920-10-27)27 October 1920
England, UK
Died 14 November 1988(1988-11-14) (aged 68)
Oxford, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Nationality British
Occupation Royal Navy Officer, Retired as Rear Admiral then Domestic Bursar and Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford 1970-1988
Awards OBE, CB, OON (Netherlands), Order of St Olave (Norway)

Personal life

Fourth son of Col A.S. Leslie, CMG, WS, Kininvie, and Mrs M.I. Leslie (née Horne)

Married (1953), Margaret Rose Leslie

1 son

3 daughters


George Cunningham Leslie retired from the Royal Navy 17 November 1970.

His career started just before WW2 in 1938 and he climbed the ranks to retire as a Rear Admiral.

He was awarded the OBE in 1945

The award of the CB was in 1970.[1]

The OON was awarded by the Queen of the Netherlands on a visit to London in 1950.

The Order of St Olave was awarded on a state visit of the King of Norway to Edinburgh in 1962. Joined Royal Navy 1938[2][3]

World War 2 Ships served in

HMS York, Cruiser, 1939-1940

HMS Harvester, Destroyer, 1941

HMS Volunteer, Destroyer, 1942-1943

HMS Cassandra, Destroyer, 1944-1945

HMS Chevron, Destroyer, 1945-1946

Peacetime Ships served in

Commanding HMS Wrangler 1950–1951

Commanding HMS Wilton 1951

Commanding HMS Surprise 1954–1955[4]

Captain Fishery Protection Sqadron 1960–1962 (HMS Duncan)[5]

Commodore Roral Naval Barracks Devonport, HMS Drake, 1964–1965

Commanding HMS Devonshire 1966–1967

Other appointments

Flag Officer, Admiralty Interview Board 1967–1968

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Headquarters, Brussels 1968–1970

Retired 1970

War Exploits

While serving aboard HMS Cassandraa during Operation Acumen, which was the suppression of submarine attacks on convoys in the Atlantic supplying the USSR.

HMS Cassandra was torpedoed by U-boat U-365 under the command of Oberleutnant zur See Diether Todenhagen. 62 men died in the attack and Cassandra had her bow blown off.

George Leslie was awarded the OBE for his devotion to duty and actions during this incident.

On 30 November 1944, the Cassandra, with three other destroyers of the 6th Flotilla, left Scapa Flow to cover the passage of the North Russian Convoy JW62 (31 ships), which had left Loch Ewe on the previous day.

The Home Fleet operation, Acumen, for this was under the command of Rear-Admiral Rhoderick McGrigor, with his flag in the escort aircraft carrier Campania.

Despite a U-boat concentration off Kola, JW 62, consisting of thirty merchant ships, arrived safely in the Kola Inlet on 7 December and the White Sea portion on 9 December.

The return convoy, RA62 (28 Ships), left the Kola Inlet on 10 December. It was attacked by U--boats and torpedo bomber aircraft, and while no merchant ships were lost or damaged, the CASSANDRA was torpedoed at 0600 on 11 December when about 165 miles north of the Kola Inlet, to which she returned, escorted by the 20th Escort Group, under tow.

The torpedo had blown off her bow forward of B gun, and the Cassandra took no further part in the War. She was brought alongside at Rosta for temporary repairs and the cutting away of the damaged portion, but owing to delays and especially the shortage of steel plate locally it was not until 14 June 1945, that she was able to leave Kola for Rosyth, arriving on the 18th under the escort of HMS Onslaught.

As an aside, HMS Cassandra would have her bow replaced three times during her lifetime.


Acting Sub Lieutenant 01.09.1940

Lieutenant. 01.05.1941

Lieutenant Commander. 01.11.1948

Commander. 30.06.1952

Captain. 30.06.1958

Rear Admiral. 07.01.1968 (Retired 17.11.1970)

Post Royal Navy

Rear Admiral George Cunningham Leslie became the Domestic Bursar and Fellow of St Edmund Hall, Oxford 1970-1988


This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).