Leonard Carter first appears on a Census in 1901 living at 17, Plumpton Street, Warrington, Lancashire with his mother Emma Carter who had been born in Cork, Ireland. She was 35, married and was listed as head of the household. Her listed children were Harry 9, Emily 8, William 5, Leonard 3 and baby Noah 4 months old. The children had all been born in Warrington, Lancashire. Also recorded in the household were 2 Boarders, Richard Boff and John More, single men who were both Labourers at the Iron Works.
On the 1911 census I eventually found them living at the address Emma and Leonard gave on his Attestation Papers. ( 22, Farm Road, Sealand) but their names had been changed to Molyneux. Emma Molyneux, the census showed, was 45 a widow, who said she had been married for 21 years. She had given birth to 10 children who had survived and 3 had died. The children listed as being at home were all named Molyneux. Harry 19, worked at the Sheet Mill as a General Labourer (Selling Corrugated ). Emma was 18 and a Domestic Servant. Billy was 15 and a Sheet Mill Worker. Leonard Molyneux was 13 and a school boy, son Noah was 10 and Enoch 8.
Clearly Emma’s story is a complex one and there are a number of unexplained mysteries. Certainly on Leonard’s army papers she, as his next of kin, is always named as Emma Carter.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms the regimental information above and tells us that Leonard was born in Warrington, that his residence was Hawarden and he enlisted at Connah’s Quay. His medal card also accessible on ‘ancestry’ confirms his regiment and number and lists his medals which included the unusual Territorial Force War medal.
Leonard’s Army Service Record has survived and is accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk. The record tells us he enlisted when he was just 17 and about 5 months before war was declared. He attested on the 26th March 1914 at Connah’s Quay. He was 5′ 4″ tall and his chest measured 32.5 inches. He had grey eyes and dark hair. His vision was good as was his physical development and he was deemed to be fit for the Territorial Force.
He gave the name of Mt Arthur J Richardson (who was a foreman electrician of 7 Bridge View, Garden City) as a referee. Mr Richardson completed the form the army sent him and stated that he had known Leonard for 3 years and that he was sober, honest and a very steady character.
Leonard was not embodied into the army until the 5th August 1914 and all his service was ‘at home’ for nearly three years. Throughout that time he was regularly promoted. He was appointed Lance Corporal on 21st May 1915. He became Acting Corporal on the 5th July 1915 and Acting sergeant on the 18th March 1916.
He became part of the British Expeditionary Force on the 10th June 1917 when he left Southampton. He arrived at Rouen the next day. His records contain an entry which says a Burial Officer had stated that he was wounded and missing on the 22nd April 1918 and was either ‘killed in action or died of wounds shortly after’.
There is correspondence between the army and Mrs Carter (whose address was then Davies House Pentre, Hawarden) concerning his personal possessions – one ID disc. There was further correspondence about the receipt of a scroll and commemorative plaque.
Leonard is commemorated on a family grave in St Deniol’s Churchyard, Hawarden.
“In loving memory of our dear mother Emma Carter, who passed away Sept 18th 1925 aged 60 years. – “A loving Mother, True & Kind, a beautiful memory left behind.”
Also our dear brother, Sergt. Leonard Carter, killed in France April 27th 1918, aged 19 years.*
Also Emma dau of the above, died June 24th 1964 aged 73 years. “Mother”
Also Thomas Challoner son-in-law of Emma Carter who passed away Oct 28th 1925 aged 35.
Also Noah Carter, beloved son of Emma Carter died March 15th 1969 aged 68 years.”
(St. Deniol’s Churchyard -Monumental Inscriptions Volume 1V (Page 44) North Extension, East Side. – Lovelock. TMW – E1 Stone Cross (smashed) on 3 stepped base, lead lettering)
Leonard is named on the Queensferry School Roll of Honour