Castle Leslie owner and World War II Veteran, Sir John Leslie has died peacefully in his sleep – – Our News, Your Views

Castle Leslie owner and World War II Veteran, Sir John Leslie has died peacefully in his sleep

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One of Ireland’s oldest surviving Second World War Veterans, Captain Sir John Leslie has passed away peacefully in his sleep aged 99.

Affectionately known as ‘Uncle Jack‘, the fourth baronet of Clan Leslie, lived in the Castle Leslie Estate in County Monaghan where he was well-known because of his Anglo-Irish background and here he was also well liked.

Castle Leslie is a popular 5 star hotel which attracts many high profile guests including hosting Paul McCartney’s wedding.

John Leslie (a cousin of Winston Churchill) was born in New York in 1916.

Last year, the Irish hero received the prestigious Legion d’Honneur in the French Ambassador’s residence on Ailesbury Road in Dublin.

At the age of 21, Sir Jack enlisted in the Second Battalion of the Irish Guards in August 1937.

Aged 24, John was part of the British Expeditionary Corp that landed in France in May 1940.

Commanding a section that battled for two hours to defend Boulogne Sur Mer against advancing Germans, Leslie was captured and spent five years as a prisoner of war.

During his captivity, he risked his life to spirit out a postcard to his cousin Mr Churchill pleading for a POW exchange to allow some of his comrades in the camp who had taken ill to be freed.

After being released from German captivity in 1945, Leslie traveled the world before settling for some time in Rome, where he bought a 1,500 year old monastery.

Leslie became well-known for his love of rave music at local nightclubs and he traveled to Ibiza to celebrate his 85th birthday at Privilege, the world’s biggest nightclub.

His family said he was blessed with an astonishing memory for people, places and events and he was interviewed many times and appeared in a number of documentaries.

John Leslie did not marry or have children and is survived by his nieces and nephews.

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