Leslie George Thornton served in HMAS Shropshire

Dear Mac,

I have been looking into the HMS Shropshire for my husband, Christopher Thornton as his father served on that ship during the latter stages of WWII.

I found your wonderful website and thought you may be able to assist.  His name was Leslie George Thornton.  DOB unknown, but born approximately 1925. 

Leslie Thornton died of cancer in 1952 when Christopher was just a young child.  He has no contact with anyone from Leslie Thornton’s family and would not know where to start and would now like to try to learn a bit more about his father. 

Do you know of any website or contact information where we may be able to look up lists of crew members?  We would be most grateful for any assistance you could give us. 

We are very impressed with your website as it has proven to be the most informative of the hits we got off our google search. 

Karen Pintal


Here is your husband's Father's WW2 Certificate of Service, it gives his DOB, the PM preface to his Official Number means he joined the RAN at Port Melbourne Naval Depot, HMAS Lonsdale, he was discharged from the Navy also there. 



Service: Royal Australian Navy

Date of Birth: 6 February 1926

Place of Birth: SURREY HILLS, VIC

Date of Enlistment: 22 June 1943

Home Port/Port Division :MELBOURNE, VIC


Date of Discharge: 20 May 1946

Posting at Discharge: HMAS Lonsdale

He was an Able Seaman which means he was a Sailor who manned the guns in the ships in which he served.

In the Shropshire book "Porthole," there is an Able Seaman L. Thornton listed as having been a crew member of this heavy cruiser HMAS Shropshire, donated to the RAN by Winston Churchill to replace HMAS Canberra, sunk at the Battle of Savo Island on August 9, 1942. I served in both Canberra and Shropshire, the latter the best ship I ever served in.

If you go to this URL on the net: http://www.ahoy.tk-jk.net/macslog/HMASShropshireabookbyStan.html you will be able to read all of Stan Nicholl's book about the wartime exploits of that ship in the Royal Australian Navy.

Here is his entry in the National Archives of Australia, I have not been able to access the digital copy of his record, I suggest you contact the NAA and seek the information under Barcode 4510971.

Primary description of  item 4510971

THORNTON LESLIE GEORGE : Service Number - PM6577 : Date of birth - 06 Feb 1926 : Place of birth - SURREY HILLS VIC : Place of enlistment - MELBOURNE : Next of Kin - THORNTON HILDA


Series number

Series accession number

Control symbol

Contents date range
1939 - 1948



Access status

Reason for restriction

Date of decision
4 Feb 2004

More information about this item



Hi Mac,

I was so delighted to open your email and find all this information. You are truly wonderful and you must bring happiness and fulfillment to many people. Thank you so very much. 

My husband is in Melbourne for the rest of this week and has no email access. Actually he is a bit in the dark ages when it comes to computers, but I am working on him.

I will however fax him a printout and we will look at the links together when he comes back home. 



Thank you or your very kind words, it was a pleasure to help just in a small way.

I certainly do get a great deal of satisfaction if I am able to assist people in uncovering their family history, especially when it is naval oriented. Often it is a matter of knowing where to look which I have learned over the years, and often it takes me but 10 minutes or so to gain the necessary information.

Best wishes to you both.

Hi Mac, 

Thank you so much.  I could tell you liked what you do. 

I was on the end of 2 weeks leave from work when I first contacted you and had a little more time on my hands, but have been back at work since Wednesday and so busy but I love it. So much so that I will spend a lot of my weekend there trying to catch up on emails etc. that have accumulated and getting organized.

I do intend to get further into the research and the information you have given is wonderful.  I will follow up those leads and I’ll let you know how we get on.

Until then, keep up the great work.

Best Wishes

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