LEONARD PRESTON

Private 202573, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry

Died 27th November 1917 aged 37

No Known Grave Commemorated Cambrai Memorial, Louveral, France

Husband of Rhoda Ann Preston

Lived 6, Darley Street, Heckmondwike


Leonard was born in 2nd Quarter of 1881 in Heckmondwike.  His father, George Preston, lived in Heckmondwike all his life in various locations.  His mother was Jane nee Strickland. Leonard had an older brother Strickland born 1874, and three younger brothers, Henry Cecil Preston born 1883, George Granville Preston born 1884 and Harold Foster Preston born 1892.  He also had two older sisters, Mary Louisa Preston born 1878 and Eliza Ann Clegg (nee Preston) 1880.

Leonard was a Mason by trade as were his father and brothers.

Leonard married Elizabeth Coultas nee Green on the 23rd July 1910 at St. Peter’s Church at  Birstall and they moved to Birkenshaw. Sadly his wife Elizabeth died in 3rd Quarter of 1912 aged 26years.  He married again in 3rd quarter of 1914 to Rhoda Ann Sargent and continued to live in Birkenshaw where he ran a greengrocer shop.

The family were all active members of George Street Congregational Chapel in Heckmondwike and Leonard’s name is commemorated on their War Memorial.  Leonard’s father, George Preston, died in December 1916.

Leonard enlisted in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and was sent to France in 1916.  In June of that year he was gassed and sent home to recuperate.   He had only been back in France for two weeks when a shell fell amongst his company as they were coming out of the line.

His younger brother George Granville Preston also served in the Great War but survived and his name is in the Heckmondwike Memorial Book.

His nephew, George Fred Preston born 1894  (son of his brother Strickland Preston), also served in the Great War in the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and died on 15th September 1916.  His name is also on the Green Park War Memorial in Heckmondwike as well as the St. James’s and St. Saviour’s War Memorials.

Leonard was buried behind the line and his name is commemorated on the Cambrai Memorial at Louveral.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
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