Wednesday 20 September 2017

John Leslie - War hero and bon viveur

December 6, 1916 - April 18, 2016

War hero: John Leslie, affectionately known as 'Uncle Jack', in later years.
War hero: John Leslie, affectionately known as 'Uncle Jack', in later years.

A survivor of World War II POW camps, host of Paul McCartney's wedding, a raver in his eighties, art connoisseur and so much more: if anyone could be said to encapsulate the phrases "a full life" or "a life less ordinary", it was John Leslie, who passed away this week at the grand old age of 99.

As befitted a colourful, larger-than-life man of many parts, he was known by different names. John was affectionately called Uncle Jack by some, had been born John Norman Ide Leslie, and was officially titled Sir John, the 4th Baronet of Glaslough and Pettigo. Glaslough is the Co Monaghan village which lies 11km from the place John is most closely associated with: Castle Leslie, a historic country house and 1,000-acre estate.

The house and estate are notable characters in their own right. John only returned to live in the family home at the age of 78, having spent years living abroad, and in 2002 it was chosen for the marriage of Beatle Paul McCartney and Heather Mills.

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