Thomas LEONARD
Rank: Private
Number: 49128
Unit: 1st Battalion Cheshire Regiment
Date of Death: 23 November 1916
Age: 33
Cemetery: Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L’Avoue, France

Thomas lived all his life in Stockport until he enlisted in the army. The 1901 Census records that he was working as a bobbiner in a cotton mill. This was probably the Carrington Road mill of Isaac Pearson Ltd where he was working before he joined up.

Between January and March 1908, he is believed to have married Elizabeth Healey. They lived at 257 Newbridge lane, Stockport with their two children. Thomas' father lived nearby at 199 Newbridge Lane.

Thomas enlisted in February 1915 and his original service number, 4077, indicates that he joined one the Cheshire's Territorial Army Battalions - probably the local 6th Battalion. He served overseas with this unit and was possibly wounded or otherwise out of action for a while. When he had recovered, around mid-1916, he was transferred to the 1st Battalion and allocated the above new number.

During the night of 21/22 November 1916, the Battalion went into trenches near Le Touret - 10 kilometres north east of the French town of Bethune. The weather was cold but dry and the troops had a generally quiet day, although the Battalion War Diary notes that the enemy artillery shelled positions immediately to the Cheshires' right.

The next day, the Diary records "Enemy artillery activity at 3pm to 5pm. Two casualties killed".  Thomas was one of those men. The other man was Frank Ratcliffe, from Macclesfield. They are buried next to each other in the Cemetery.

   
           
   
     
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