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Leonard Oswald Smith was born in 1895 and was the son of the late John Henry Smith born 1861 a stonemason. He was the stepson of Harry and Ada Lucy Cluderay who in 1911 lived at 36 Seymour Street Carlton Road Nottingham Harry Cluderay is 38 yrs of age and a brass moulder he is living with his wife Ada Lucy 43 yrs and their stepson Leonard Oswald Smith 16 yrs a railway clerk and their 2 children, Doris Ada 9 yrs and Nellie 3 yrs of age.
He was a railway clerk in 1911
27 May 1918
1439108 - CWGC Website
Squadron Quartermaster Sergeant
South Nottinghamshire Hussars
Squadron Quatermaster Sergeant Leonard Oswald Smith enlisted at Nottingham, he served with the South Nottinghamshire Hussars and drowned on 27th May 1918 whilst on board the troop ship 'Leasowe Castle' which was sunk by an enemy torpedo having no known grave his name is commemorated on the Chatby Memorial, Egypt.
This account is from a local resident posted on the Woodborough village website. The Hussars had been fighting in the Middle East and they were returning to France where they were to be re-formed as a machine gun company. Their new title was to be the South Notts Machine Gun Battalion. They were sent to Alexandria, Egypt and had received orders to embark on a transporter ship called the "Leasowe Castle" on 23th May 1918 ¹. On 27th May, the ship was struck by a torpedo with devastating results. A very detailed account of the fateful journey may be read in the historical records of the South Notts Hussars Yeomanry by G. Fellows. The "Leasowe Castle" was one of a convoy of six transporters and they were accompanied by a number of destroyers. The weather was good, the sea was calm and a brilliant moon shone in the night sky. At 1.30 am on May 27th 1918 when the ship was about 104 miles from Alexandria, the "Leasowe Castle" was struck by a torpedo on the starboard side. The engines were immediately stopped. The troops mustered to their stations, rolls were called, boats lowered and rafts flung overboard. The Japanese destroyer "R" stood by, while the remainder of the convoy continued on their journey at full speed. We are informed that perfect order was maintained on board, the men standing quietly at their stations as if on parade, while those detailed for the work assisted in lowering the boats. Lifeboats were launched in the course of forty five minutes and the rescue attempt continued smoothly. The "Leasowe Castle" remained fairly steady, though sinking a little at the stern, with a slight list to port. All of 'B' (Warwickshire Yeomanry) Company of the Battalion went over the port side and were picked up in the water. About 1.45am. HM sloop "Lily" appeared having turned back from the convoy to assist in the work of rescue. She ran her bows up to the starboard side of the "Leasowe Castle" and made fast, so that troops were able to pass quickly on board. Meanwhile the Japanese destroyer put up a smoke screen for protection. Suddenly about 3.00am a bulkhead in the aft part of the ship gave way, and with a loud noise the "Leasowe Castle" sank rapidly. The "Lily" had a narrow escape, as the hawsers connecting her with the sinking ship were cut with an axe just in time.
Remembered on