|Date of birth:||July 1887|
|Place of birth:||Freemantle, southampton|
|Died:||9th October 1917 aged 31 years|
|Death location:||Third battle of Ypres, Flanders|
Life Before the War
The 1891 Census shows Leonard, aged 3, living at 14 Albany Road, Freemantle with his father William (then aged 38), his mother Rosina (aged 37) and 6 siblings – 3 sisters and 3 brothers:
William (aged 14)
Stanley (aged 12)
Mabel (aged 9)
Daisy (aged 7)
Eva (aged 5)
Bertram (aged 1)
By 1901 William, Stanley and Daisy had left home – William had probably gone to sea, although he was to marry Kate Rose Elizabeth Damen on Christmas Eve the following year, and Daisy was employed as a housemaid at Hill Top, Lavington Hill, Midhurst. Bertram was no longer the baby of the family as two more siblings appeared:
Percy (aged 8)
Ella (aged 6)
Sadly Leonard’s father, William senior, died in January 1910 and the 1911 census shows that. Having moved to Elm Lea, Harborough Road, the Polygon, the family – Rosina (now aged 58), Leonard (23) whose occupation was listed as Drapers Packer, Bertram (21) an Upholsterer, Percy (19) a Law Clerk and Ella (16) a Florist’s Apprentice, now shared their home with two lodgers, David Salter, a 25 year old Bookbinder and Erskine McLean, a 57 year old Draughtsman from Edinburgh.
Leonard’s oldest sibling, William junior, perished on 15th April 1912 in the sinking of the Titanic on which he was employed as a bedroom steward.
Then in the summer of 1916, just over a year before his death, Leonard married Eva Young, a Shop Assistant in a bakers’ shop listed at 40 Above Bar, Southampton.
Leonard enlisted in the Second Battalion, The Hampshire Regiment at Winchester in 1916
at the rank of Private.
He died fighting the 3rd Battle of Ypres at Poelcapelle which had begun in dry conditions with the ground relatively firm underfoot. However, Leonard was killed on the first day of the British attack which came after two days of heavy rain. With the field drainage systems destroyed by previous shelling the ground soon became waterlogged, affecting both the movement of troops and the efficacy of the guns. Shells did not explode in the mud, or if they did their force was dissipated. Accuracy was also affected as the guns required solid platforms for their aim to be true.
In total, the Third battle of Ypres cost over 200,000 British lives.
Leonard is commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium. His regiment is listed on Panel 88 to 90 and also 162.
|Published:||23rd June 2015|
|Updated:||Insert dates here|
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