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  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Bailleul Communal Cemetery, Nord. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
Person Details
Radford Nottingham
Leonard was the second son of Frederick and Matilda Wagstaff (née McLoughlin). His father Frederick was born in Lenton in 1859. His mother Matilda was born in about 1862, her birth place on census records differ between Scotland and Carew, Ireland. An older sibling was born in Scotland and subsequent children were born in Ireland apart from the two youngest who was born in England. In 1881 Matilda, a lace mender, and her seven siblings were living with her mother Matilda (née Lester m. 1853 Armagh Ireland) in Nottingham; her father George was not in the home on the night of the census. Frederick and Matilda were married at Nottingham All Saints in October 1881 and had four children, one of whom died in infancy: Frederick b. 1882, Leonard b. 1883, Ethel b. 1885 d. 1887 and Edith Lester b. 1892. In 1891 Frederick, a lace machine fitter, Matilda and their two sons were living on Trevett Street, Nottingham. Matilda and her three surviving children, Frederick and Leonard who were both railway clerks, and Edith, were recorded on the 1901 Census at 42 St Ann's Valley, Nottingham. Her husband Frederick, now a foreman lace machine fitter, was recorded as a boarder at a hotel in Darvel, Ayrshire. Leonard joined the army the following year. By 1911 Frederick and Matilda were living at 365 Blue Bell Hill Road, Nottingham, with their son Frederick, a clerk, and daughter Edith (not in employment). Leonard was serving with the 3rd Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps in India. The later CWGC record gave his parents address as 26 Midland Avenue, Lenton, Nottingham. Frederick died in June 1928; he was then living on Arden Close, Lenton Abbey Estate.
1901 - railway clerk (London & North West Railway). He enlisted in the King's Royal Rifle Corps on 11 February 1902. 1911 - serving with KRRC in India.
24 Feb 1915
197945 - CWGC Website
3rd Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps
3rd Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps Leonard enlisted in the 3rd Bn King's Royal Rifle Corps aged 19, on 11 February 1902. He joined on a 12 year engagement, 7 years with the Colours and 5 years in the Reserve with the proviso 'if completes 7 years service with the Colours while beyond the seas then for a further period not exceeding one year with the Colours and the remainder of the 12 years in the Reserve.' Leonard was promoted lance sergent on 9 January 1904. He was serving in Malta in 1909 when he completed 7 years 5 months with the Colours and was due to be discharged to the Army Reserve on 10 February 1910 after completing 8 years service (see terms of engagement above). However, on 19 July he made a successful application to extend his service to complete 12 years service with the Colours. By 1911 Leonard was serving with the battalion in Daghsai Barracks, India (OC, Lt. Col. Charles Slingsby Chaplin). The cantonment, in the Solan district of Himachal Pradesh, northern India, was established in 1847 by the East India Company. By 1913 the battalion was serving in Meerut in Utar Pradesh, about 43 miles from New Delhi. On 25 August, having completed 11 years 196 days toward his 12 year engagement, Leonard again successfully applied to extend his service, on this occasion to complete 21 years with the army. The battalion was still serving in Meerut on the outbreak of war and returned to the UK in the November. On 21 December it moved to France (80th Brigade, 27th Division). The OIC Records (Winchester) wrote to Leonard's father on 28 February 1915 notifying him that they had been advised by the War Office that his son had been 'slightly wounded' on 5 February. It appears that the letter went astray and was returned to the Records Office several months later. Leonard died of wounds at No. 8 Casualty Clearing Station, Bailleul, France, on 24 February 1915; there is no information on his service record whether this was as a result of the injuries he had received on 5 February or if he was more seriously wounded later that month. According to his service record he was buried in Bailleul. Leonard is buried in a grave in Bailleul Communal Cemetery with Private T Johnstone, Loyal Kent Regiment (The Buffs), and 8322 Serjeant John James Strand, Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, who also died on 24 February (grave ref. J.5). He qualified for the 1914 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal. CWGC - History of Bailleul Communal Cemetery (extract): The town of Bailleul is near the Belgian border, 14.5 kms. from Ieper [Ypres]. 'Bailleul was occupied on 14 October 1914 by the 19th Brigade and the 4th Division. It became an important railhead, air depot and hospital centre, with the 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 11th, 53rd, 1st Canadian and 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Stations quartered in it for considerable periods. It was a Corps headquarters until July 1917, when it was severely bombed and shelled, and after the Battle of Bailleul (13-15 April 1918), it fell into German hands and was not retaken until 30 August 1918. The earliest Commonwealth burials at Bailleul were made at the east end of the communal cemetery and in April 1915, when the space available had been filled, the extension was opened on the east side of the cemetery. The extension was used until April 1918, and again in September, and after the Armistice graves were brought in from the neighbouring battlefields.' (www.cwgc.org)
CWGC: 'He was the son of Frederick and Matilda Wagstaff of 26 Midland Avenue Lenton Nottingham.' Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Deaths’ 1 & 2 June 1928: ‘Wagstaff. June 1st, suddenly, at Arden Close, Lenton Abbey Estate, Fred Wagstaff.' (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, 2 June 1928: ‘Frederick Wagstffe (sic), 69, of 15 Arden-close, Lenton Abbey Estate, died suddenly in bed yesterday morning. He had been medically attended for four years for heart trouble.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Bailleul Communal Cemetery, Nord. Courtesy of Murray Biddle
    Leonard Wagstaff - Commonwealth War Graves Commission headstone marking his grave at Bailleul Communal Cemetery, Nord. Courtesy of Murray Biddle