Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Geoffrey Alexander Mitchell
Name of Memorial / Enw’r gofeb: Holywell War Memorial
Name / Enw: Ayer, Leonard Stuart
Regiment/Catrawd: 13th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Captain
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Heilly Station Cemetery
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: Plot: 1. Row: C. Grave: 27.
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Mericourt-L’Abbe, Somme, France
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: 1914-15 Star, Victory Medal, British War Medal
Date of Death: 15th July 1916
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed in Action during the battle of Mametz Wood on Saturday 15 July 1916 aged 25 years.
Leonard Stuart Ayer was born in Holywell, Flintshire during July 1891. He was baptised on 2 August 1891 at Holywell Parish Church.
The 1911 Census states that the family resided at Victoria House, 4 Victoria Square, Holywell. The head of the family was James Ayer, aged 44, a Draper. His wife Elizabeth Ayer (nee Earle) aged 47 a Millinery Buyer and their son Leonard Stuart Ayer, a Bank Clerk employed by London City and Midland Bank. There was also a domestic servant Miss Sarah Redfern, aged 35 years of Halkyn, Flintshire living in the house. James Ayer was well respected in the Holywell area and was a prominent member of Basingwerk Masonic Lodge No. 3753, Coleshill Street, Holywell.
On 11 July 1914 he married Alice Chapman at Holywell Parish Church and they lived at The Cottage, Strand, Holywell. Nothing further is know of the marriage.
Leonard Stuart Ayer was commissioned into the Royal Welsh Fusiliers during October 1914 and in December 1915 arrived in France with the Battalion. He was the commanding officer of ‘C’ Company.
The National Probate Calendar for 1916 states that Leonard on his death had bequeathed the sum of £148. 12s 8d to his father James Ayer. (Details can be found on www.ancestry.co.uk).
On 29 April 1919 Leonard’s wife Alice who was still living at The Cottage, Strand, Holywell applied to the Military Records Office, Shrewsbury, requesting her husband’s 1914/1915 Star. This was accepted and the medal was presented to her.
There is a Flintshire Roll of Honour card for Leonard Stuart Ayer at the County Archives Office, Hawarden, which states that he had served for 2 years as an officer in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Details of his medals were obtained from (www.forces-war-records.co.uk).
He is also remembered on the North Wales Heroes Memorial Arch, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales.
On 28 March 1943 James Ayer died aged 76 leaving the sum of £2448. 17s. 10p to be administered by The Midland Bank Executor & Trustee Company. On 6 April 1947 his wife Elizabeth aged 83 died and she left £5017. 2s 8d also to be to be administered by The Midland Bank Executor & Trustee Company.