LEONARD WHITAKER

Clerk 249154, Royal Air Force

Died 24th November 1918 aged 27

Buried at Sea Commemorated Hollybrook Memorial, Southampton

Husband of Grace Whitaker

Lived 82, High Street, Heckmondwike


Leonard was born in Heckmondwike in 1891.  His father, George,  was born in Sandal but had moved with his family to Dewsbury by the time he was five years old.  George married Lavinina Senior in 1887 and they had three children - Leonard was their youngest son.  Both Leonard and his father worked in the Textile Trade, Leonard was a Mungo Rag Sorter but rose to become a Manager by the time he joined the Royal Air Force in 1917.  He was very musical and played the piano in many local concerts, whilst in the RAF he played in concerts that were staged for the benefit of soldiers and sailors.  He also composed music for song lyrics written by his commanding officer.

Leonard married Grace Oldfield from Batley in 1914 and they had one son called Horace who was born in 1917.

He was posted to the Shetland Isles in 1917 and contracted Spanish Flu on Armistice Day.  His father and grandfather travelled to see him when reports of his illness reached his family, he died of pneumonia two weeks after contracting the illness aboard the hospital ship Agadir.

Leonard's entry on the Commonwealth War Graves Commision site reads "Whitaker, Clerk 3rd Class, Leonard, 249154, Royal Air Force.  Buried at sea (from 'Agadir') 24 November 1918."{PL-143}

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