Leslie George Sayce.

In the first picture we have Leslie George Sayce aged fifteen and the second one is Les Sayce and Andra McDade in the garden of
29 Mayfield Road in 1948.

Leslie George Sayce
Leslie George Sayce aged fifteen

He was later known then as Les McDade due to his parents getting divorced when he was 2 years old.

Les was born at 29 Mayfield Road in the “Jungle” to Mary McDade on 19th Jan 1947 and his father Les Sayce was a survivor of HMS Barham in 1941 His father later went on to escort duty in the North Atlantic.

The picture was taken in the back yard of 24 Hillhouse crescent in 1963 and Earnock “Bing” is in the back ground.

Les went to Glenlee primary and then Earnock secondary and when he left school he worked as an apprentice joiner for Charlie Cornes at Limetree, then for Gibbons who were building “The Furlongs.’ He later worked at the Wagon works across from the Blantyre Industrial estate.

Les McDade.
Les Sayce and Andra McDade in the garden of 29 Mayfield Road in 1948.

He then went to London and spent seven years doing joinery work. He was also a cross country runner attaining house colours for his school which was “Windsor boys school”. and served as a member of the combined cadet force of the Royal Artillery. He then joined the Cameronians, he was based in Germany for a year in 1962. Returning to Scotland in 1963 he joined the ATC at Hamilton barracks 2166 Squadron.

Les started spending much time in libraries reading poetry of Selfridge Sassoon and the usual building subjects pertaining to construction management and aeronautical physics. (mechanics of flight) – {He published his own work in 1978}

He then set out for the south of England and searched for his father, it took only a few hours to track him down. (in a pub) He went back to Scotland in 1972 for four years working as a Ghillie on the Mamore estate in Kinlochleven and a joiner on the housing schemes.

In the mid 70s Les went to Spain for a holiday and when he was in Spain, he met some lads from a NZ rugby club and they invited him over there, So in 1976 he arrived here in NZ and worked in the islands “Rarotonga” then Australia and in 1977 he met his future wife Jessie Stokes!

At this time he was playing guitar in the country clubs and dance halls as a solo performer In most circles he is known primarily as a guitarist.
He trained as a commercial pilot in Wanganui and Nelson and done the flying part in Auckland as that was his home club, he flew many types of aircraft mainly on charters.

In 1982 he suddenly started playing cricket and he went at it with a vengeance,his training regime was rugged as he was running around a Hill station farm rounding up lambs and in winter found him training with the rugby lads. He ended up a captain of a two day team and won sportsman of the year in 1986.

Last year Les moved from Auckland and is now living in a town (a country town) He has his dream home with a huge garden and his dream car and has not slowed down in the least.

Historic Hamilton would like to thank Les’s friend John Stokes for sending us Les’s story.

15 thoughts on “Leslie George Sayce.”

      1. Finally, a free spirit with many passions was how “Les” was described to me and I’m absolutely delighted to discover they got it pretty close in their description of him. Amazing…..


    1. Les thats fantastic news!!
      Well hello stranger my my you get around the globe 🌒Would be thrilled to have your email and pass mine on but I’m unsure how to source yours or indeed leave mine without making post public…help!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Les & Catherine.

        If you are uneasy about leaving emails then you can both send me a private message on the Historic Hamilton face book page and in turn I will swap.

        Or, simply just connect on Facebook & Messenger.

        Please let us know the outcome as I want to tell this story in Historic Hamilton.



  1. So John stokes is les Sayce, so Les wrote his own biography under a pseudonym, geee. I wonder why you never mention Andy, Catherine’s father.


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