(Daniel) Edward Lees - Knight of Civil Merit (Spain)
If Ted Lees had followed his parents advice he would have become an accountant but his love of motor vehicles set him on an entirely different course.
Lees joined the Territorial Army in 1939. He qualified as a transport instructor, volunteered for overseas service and was selected the special company service the predecessor of todays SAS.
Lees saw active service in North Africa and Italy from 1942-1945 where his experience servicing and repairing tanks, bulldozers and trucks provided him with an unequalled apprenticeship in heavy equipment.
He returned to the family business in Papakura and moved into heavy-equipment manufacturing and assembly. In 1960 he formed Lees Industries, which produced agricultural and defence equipment, frontend loaders, forklifts, straddle trucks, container carriers and marine engines.