Leffley (Lefley), Leonard

Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams

Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Connahs Quay

Name / Enw: Leffley (Lefley), Leonard

Regiment/Catrawd: South Wales Borderers 5th Bn.

Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 34663

Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Soissons Memorial

Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: No reference on GWGC

Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: France

Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: Victory & British Medals and 15 Star

Date of Death: 30th May 1918

Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:

Missing 12 months, Killed in action 30th May 1918

The 1901 census finds Leonard Leffley  living with his family in Cambridgeshire, at Grange Hill Road, Tydd St Giles (Isle Of Ely).  William Leffley  40 was  an ‘Ordinary Agricultural Labourer’. His wife Eliza was 29. Their children were Ann 12,  John W 9, Ernest  8, Lenard  6, Ada  4 and  Herbert 1 month.

By the 1911 census the family had moved to Flintshire.  They were living at Kirby Grove Shotton. William 52  and Eliza 40, had  been married for 23 years and had produced seven children all of whom had survived. William was a ‘labourer in the steelworks’. The children were listed as follows: William 19  was a Labourer at the Golf Links;  Ernest 18  and Leonard 16  were both ‘Carriers at the Golf Links’;  Ada was 14,  Herbert 10, Edith 8 and Edward was 10 months old.

Leonard married Ethel M.R. Robins at St. Philip’s Church, Litherland, South Sephton in 1916 (Ref. A15/3/439).   They were only married 2 years.

Commonwealth War Grave additional Information: Husband of Mrs. E. M. R. Lefley, of 38, Holmes Lane, Litherland, Liverpool.

UK soldiers who died in the Great War 1914 -19, accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and adds that he enlisted in Wrexham.

Leonard’s medal card also accessible on ancestry, records his medal details and also tells us that his first theatre of war was the Balkans and that he entered it on 19th July 1915.

Leonard Lefley in the UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 tells us that the Sole Legatee was his widow Ethel M. who was paid £25. 4s 3d on the 27th January 1920, which includes this War Gratuity of £22.

There is an index card for Leonard Leffley in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. (Flintshire WW1 Index Cards  Shotton F21) It confirms the regimental details above and adds the address 13, Kirby Grove, Shotton, Flintshire. It says he was awarded the 1914 Mons Star. Poignantly the card says that Leonard had been ‘Missing 12 months now’ and that he had been ‘Reported killed, May 1918’.   The card was signed 24th Jan (no year- probably 1919) by Eliza Lefley (His mother).

There is a Flintshire index card for Ernest Lefley, Leonard’s brother who survived the war. (Flintshire WW1 Index Card Shotton L155)13, Kirby Grove, Shotton.

Leonard was named on The memorial screen at St Ethelwold’s Church. Somebody made an effort to ensure he was remembered

 

We visited the Soisson Memorial on 14th April 2014. It was not an easy memorial to visit as it is in the middle of town where parking was problematic as we were in our campervan. The actual memorial was fenced off so it was not possible to study the name lists in detail. It is, however a stunning and very beautiful memorial. The three statues of soldiers are superb and we were pleased to be able to very quickly take a photograph and drive on before anyone could 'book' us for parking illegally. (Eifion and Viv Williams)

We visited the Soisson Memorial on 14th April 2014. It was not an easy memorial to visit as it is in the middle of town where parking was problematic as we were in our campervan. The actual memorial was fenced off so it was not possible to study the name lists in detail. It is, however a stunning and very beautiful memorial. The three statues of soldiers are superb and we were pleased to be able to very quickly take a photograph and drive on before anyone could ‘book’ us for parking illegally. (Eifion and Viv Williams)

 

The memorial was designed by G.H. Holt and V.O. Rees, with sculpture by Eric Kennington. It was unveiled by Sir Alexander Hamilton-Gordon on 22 July 1928.

The memorial was designed by G.H. Holt and V.O. Rees, with sculpture by Eric Kennington. It was unveiled by Sir Alexander Hamilton-Gordon on 22 July 1928.