Leger brothers

Leger brothers

Tongan men Francis (top left) and Baisley Leger (top right) photographed with an uncle and two young cousins in 1915. The cousins, Alexander (bottom left) and Victor Emanuel (bottom right) Leger both served in 28 (Maori) Battalion during the Second World War.

Sergeant Baisley Leger and Private Francis Leger

The Leger brothers came to New Zealand from Tonga and enlisted for service in 1915. They were sent to join the Niueans and Cook Islanders already in training and sailed with them in February 1916 as part of the 3rd Maori Reinforcements. They served in Egypt and France before returning to New Zealand with the Niueans in mid-1916.

The Legers were now added to the 9th Maori Reinforcements and returned to France in October 1916 to serve in the Pioneer Battalion. In January 1918 the brothers were among the Pacific Islanders from the Pioneer Battalion sent from France to join the Rarotongan Company in Palestine. They served with this unit until the war ended.

In 1940 Francis Leger wrote to the New Zealand authorities from Vavau requesting that he and Baisley be accepted for service once more. The offer was declined on the grounds of age.

Community contributions

7 comments have been posted about Leger brothers

What do you know?

Peter John leger

Posted: 28 Dec 2021

Vavau bound leger family I am Francis joseph legers grandson one of many

Daniel van der Heide

Posted: 11 Dec 2013

Hi Marietta,

Louisa M Leger is my mothers grand mother also. Do you have some more info on her?

Can you email me on [email protected]




Posted: 03 May 2013

Dear Rachel - part of the issue seems to be that when we digitised this image it was 'flipped' so the original caption has everyone the wrong way round. I've now reflipped the image to what it should be. Thanks very much for alerting us to this.

The evidence that Francis (note Frank is a short form of Francis) and Baisley were brothers is from a WW2 Archive file which includes a letter from Francis asking if he and his brother Baisley can be enlisted. Note that both bothers' service records are available on archway.govt.nz - these refer to an Aunt in Auckland which might help confirm the family connection.

The two younger boys are listed on the 28 Maori Battalion website roll: http://www.28maoribattalion.org.nz/roll

Regards, Jamie Mackay

Rachel Matthewman

Posted: 24 Apr 2013

The man in the picture ( top left) is Frank Leger and Francis Leger ( top right) they are first cousins not brothers. The man sitting down in the middle is John Leger their uncle and he served in the World War I 1914 with Frank Leger and Francis Leger and the two boys sitting on either side of him are John Leger's sons.

Marietta Kapeli

Posted: 03 Sep 2012

I think the Uncle in the middle maybe my Grandmother's brother? My Grandmother was Louisa Margaret Leger (Mrs A.T.Day) trying to find out more about the famiy, especially who my Great grandparents names were, keep getting different stories ??

john leger

Posted: 15 Oct 2011

francis joseph leger is my grandfather