From towers to trenches, we remember Edwin William Leonard
The half muffled bells of St Mary’s, Bletchley were rung for both services on the Sunday following the news of Eddy Leonard’s death from influenza on the 30th October 1918. Eddy was the only son of Mr George and Mrs Emily Edith Leonard and prior to joining up was a bell ringer at St Mary’s church.
Eddy was born in Bletchley in 1898 and had two sisters Alice Beatrice and Ivy May. In 1911 the family were residing in Whaddon Road and Eddy the eldest child was attending the local school. His father was employed as a Blacksmith’s Striker at the Carriage Dept for a Railway company.
The census records for 1901 show the family residing in Far Bletchley with George working as a Blacksmith, his brother Jessie, a carpenter, was living with them. Next door was the Mead family, among the children was John Mead aged nine, possibly the Sapper J Mead for which a quarter peal was rung on Wednesday 27th March 1918 as a farewell to him by his fellow bell ringers following a period of home leave from France.
Eddy enlisted in Bletchley and served as a sapper in the 18th Wagon Erecting Company of Railways Battalion, Royal Engineers. Following his death in 1918 he was buried at Les Baraques Military Cemetery, Sangatte. His grave was personalised with the message “Re-union our abiding hope from Dad, Mum, Sisters, Bletchley, Bucks.” By this time the family has moved to Church Green Road, Bletchley.
Census records for 1911, 1901