Company Serjeant Major B/461227.
Royal Army Service Corps (Canteens)
Leonard Edwards was born in 1893 in Kingsley, the son of Abraham (a Bronze Wire drawer) and Sarah Lizzie Edwards, of Economic Cottage, Hazels Cross Road, Kingsley, the second of their five children. (1901 Census). As a teenager Leonard was employed locally as an Accounts Clerk. (1911 Census).
Leonard Edwards enlisted in the British Army on 9th June 1915, aged 22 years, initially joining the Royal Field Artillery, Service No. 240721 as a Driver. Later, on a date as yet unknown, Leonard was transferred to the Royal Army Service Corps (Canteens). Service No: B/461227. (This may indicate that he sustained an injury which necessitated his transfer to a non front line role). During his military service Leonard attained the rank of Company Sergeant Major.
Leonard Edwards was discharged from the Army on 14th February 1919 shortly after the end of the war. (Army Medical Records).
Leonard Edwards died on 16th September 1920, aged 27yrs, some 20 months after leaving the Army. His death was due to 1. Excision of suppurating cysts of the neck, and 2. Cellulitis – Septicemia. (Death Certificate). Leonard Edwards is buried in St Werburgh’s Churchyard, Kingsley. His grave is recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as a ‘War grave’. (CWGC website).
Leonard Edwards left an estate valued at £85 – 19s – 17d which was passed to his father Abraham still living at Economic Cottage, Hazles Cross Roads, Kingsley. (Probate records).
For reasons unknown Leonard Edwards name does not appear on the memorial within St Werburghs Church nor on the memorial on Dovedale Road. As a consequence from the second Remembrance Day in 1920 up until 2014 his name was not remembered nor read out as one of those who died as a result of his service in the war. That changed in November 2014 when his name was read out in St Werburgh’s Church and at the memorial.
Footnote 1. Given that the grave of Leonard Edwards is recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as a ‘War grave’, it is presumed that at least one of the conditions which led to his death was attributed to his war service.
Footnote 2. Leonard Edwards was the uncle of Sheila Pegg, (nee Fenton), now living in Church Terrace, Kingsley. As far as we can establish Shelia Pegg is the last known local surviving relative of Leonard Edwards.