Leonard BROWN
Rank: Private
Number: 243265
Unit: 11th Battalion CHESHIRE REGIMENT
Date of Death: 5 April 1918
Age: 19
Cemetery: Ploegsteert Memorial, Hainaut, Belgium

Prior to the war, Leonard lived with his parents, Arthur & Edith, at 11 Hulme Hall Road, Cheadle Hulme.

He enlisted in Stockport. The Battalion suffered many casualties in March 1918 during the German offensive, but on 3 April, it was withdrawn from the front line to Ingersoll Camp. This was a camp of wooden huts near the town of Nieppe. Leonard is recorded as having been killed in action (which normally suggests he was killed outright). The Battalion's War Diary makes no reference to its activities on the day Leonard died, nor does it mention any casualties. It is not possible, therefore, to be certain what happened to him. It is possible that the date of death is simply an error and he was actually killed during the fighting of the previous days. This would account for the fact that he has no known grave.

However, a report from another unit using the Camp around the same time, notes that the troops were often used as working parties and were transported by a light railway which often came under enemy artillery fire. It is possible that, if there was a direct hit, there was simply nothing left of Leonard to bury.

Whatever the circumstances, Leonard was the only member of his Battalion to die that day.

(NB: Original research by John Hartley for the Cheadle & Gatley War Memorials website)

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