[Skip to content]



  • This photo of Leonard Tomlinson was first published in the Retford Times newspaper on 12/11/15
Person Details
Retford, Nottinghamshire
John Tomlinson married Emma Jane Sheppard at Retford in 1884. They lived in Spittal Hill in Retford for the rest of their lives and all their children were born there except the first born, Grace who was born in Newark in 1884. The couple had another ten children, John George 1885, Fanny 1886, Kathleen 1888, Florence Jane 1891, Emma 1893, Leonard 1896, Dorothy 1899. Ethel 1898, Christina 1901, Mary Charlotte 1904 and Margaret born 1906. John supported his family through his earnings as a lifelong occupation as a house painter and decorator. There were two of their offspring who did not survive after joining the colours. One was Leonard Tomlinson, born 1896. By 1911 he had just started his working life and whilst living with his parents was working as an apprentice iron moulder in the local foundry, aged just 15. The other that failed to return was George Tomlinson who was born in 1885 and registered as John George. Although mainly referred to as George, in 1911 he was working at Doncaster for the Doncaster Wire Company as a wire drawer under the name John George. In 1914 he married Frances Mary Thackery in Rotherham and the following year had a son named George W Tomlinson who was born back in Retford.
29 Oct 1915
19
158185 - CWGC Website
3 2619
Private
2nd Bn York and Lancaster Regiment
Although born and bred in Retford Leonard enlisted at Doncaster. He went to France on 8 December 1914, was killed in action and buried in the Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery. Belgium.
An article in the Retford Times reads as follows:- Pte Leonard Tomlinson Retford Times 12/11/15 " Died that England might live " two Retford brothers killed. This week news has reached retford of more brave soldiers deaths. On November 14th last year Mr and Mrs j Tomlinson's eldest son George of the 1st Lincolns was killed in action, and now their only surviving son, Leonard, of the Yorks and Lancs has made the great sacrifice. Deep sympathy is extended to Mr and Mrs Tomlinson in their irreparable loss and we trust that the thought that he died bravely fighting for his country will be of some little consolation. Pte Leonard Tomlinson who celebrated his 19th birthday in the trenches' had been " doing his bit " in France about 12 months. He forfeited a lance corporalship to go out and seek his brothers grave. The brave lad had a chum, Pte M Murray in a letter to Mr and Mrs Tomlinson says:- " I write these few lines on behalf of No 3 section, to which your son belonged, and I am very sorry to tell you that he was killed on the 29th October. He died a hero's death. He was carrying messages under a heavy bombardment. Leonard and I were great friends, and I am sure he was everybody's chum . When I came out in February he was the only one I knew. I asked him if anything happen to me to write and tell my parents , and I said I would do the same for him. I am very sorry that you have lost both your sons in this terrible war. Four of our family are serving and two have been wounded and are now in England. I thank God that they are nearly better. Leonard told me to remember him to his young lady Miss D Anson. Second Lieutenant H L Ward writes:- " it is with deep regret that I have to inform you of the death of your son Leonard. he was killed in the execution of his duty during a bombardment, and it might be some slight consolation to you that death was instantaneous. He was runner of my platoon and this is a post of responsibility , only given to the best man. He was popular with his comrades and liked by all. His company officers says he was one of the best soldiers in 'C' company. You may rest assured that he died a death that any mother would be proud of, carrying on his duties with death all around him , and when his time came dying that England might live."
Remembered on

Photos

  • This photo of Leonard Tomlinson was first published in the Retford Times newspaper on 12/11/15
    Leonard Tomlinson - This photo of Leonard Tomlinson was first published in the Retford Times newspaper on 12/11/15
  • Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery,Belgium Courtesy of Murray Biddle ,
    Leonard Tomlinson - Commonwealth war grave headstone marking his grave at Potijze Burial Ground Cemetery,Belgium Courtesy of Murray Biddle ,