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  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post on 14th December 1916, Photograph courtesy of Jim Grundy, facebook pages 'Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.'
Person Details
Leonard was the son of William Wood Wheelhouse and Maria Wheelhouse nee James. His father William Wood was the son of Marshall and Arabella Woodhouse. He was baptised on 7 July 1861 at St Paul's, Nottingham; the family was living at 23 Robin Hood Yard, Nottingham. William and Maria James were married on 20 December 1879 at St Matthias, Sneinton (O/N/D Radford). They had at least seven children all of whom were born in Nottingham: Arthur b. 20 May 1880 (A/M/J Nottingham), Leonard birth registered 1884 (J/F/M Nottingham), Frederick b. 1886 (A/M/J Nottingham), Mary Elizabeth (Elizabeth), birth registered 1888 (J/F/M Nottingham), Emily b. 30 October 1889 (O/N/D Nottingham), Frank b. 1893 (O/N/D Nottingham) and James Thomas b. 1897 (J/A/S Nottingham). In 1891 William (31) a labourer, and Maria (32) were living on Golden Lane in the parish of St Mary Nottingham; they had five children: Arthur (10), Leonard (7), Frederick (5), Elizabeth (3) and Emily (1). By 1901 the family was at 5 Alvey's Yard, Nottingham. William (40) was now working as a whitewasher and painter and Maria (42) was a lace scolloper. In the home on the night of the census were five of their seven children: Frederick (15), Elizabeth (13) a fringe net lace finisher, Emily (11), Frank (7) and James (3). The eldest son Arthur had married in 1900. Leonard, who was not in the home on the night of the Census joined the army (Notts & Derby Regiment) in 1902. Leonard's mother, Maria, died in 1903 (O/N/D Nottingham) aged 45. His father William was still living at 5 Alvey's Yard in 1911 but of his seven children only Emily (21) a lace jennier and James (13) were in the home on the night of the census. William later lived at 8 Abbotsford Street, Corporation Oaks. Leonard was discharged to the Army Reserve in 1906 and married Martha Wheldon at St Philip's, Nottingham,the same year (1906 O/N/D Nottingham). He and Martha had three surviving children: Leonard b. 7 June 1908, Emily b. 23 November 1910 and Lilian b. 17 May 1913. In 1911 Leonard, a bobbin and carriage (-), and Martha were living at 3 Alvey's Yard, Fisher Gate, Nottingham, with their children Leonard (3) and Emily (u/1yr), another child had probably died in infancy. Their daughter Lilian was born two years later in 1913. Leonard was mobilised in 1914 (7219 Private, 1st Bn Sherwood Foresters) and died of gas poisoning on 5 October 1916. Leonard's personal property was returned to his widow Martha in March 1917; she was then living at 2 Sun Street, Nottingham. However, she was living at 8 Virginia Street, Nottingham, in 1927 when she applied for his Victory Medal. Of Leonard's siblings: Arthur married Alice Hind in 1900 (A/M/J Nottingham, and had at least six children: Alice Mary b. 1900 (J/A/S Nottingham, Elsie b. 1901 (J/A/S Nottingham), Leonard birth registered 1903 (J/F/M Nottingham), Frederick b. 1904 (A/M/J Nottingham) death registered 1905 (J/F/M Nottingham), William birth registered 1908 (J/F/M Nottingham) and Arthur b. 1911 (A/M/J Nottingham). the youngest child Arthur died in Nottingham General Hospital on 26 October 1916 after his clothes caught fire while he and his brother William were alone in the home before going to school, their mother having left for work. (Reports Nottingham Evening Post 26 October 1916 and 27 October 1916-inquest.) In 1911 Arthur, a house painter and Alice (30) were living at 20 Gough Street, Notingham, with Leonard (8) and William (3), three of their five children having died in infancy. Their sixth child, Arthur, was born later that year. The famliy later lived at King's Arms yard, Woolpack Lane, Nottingham. Arthur enlisted on 10 September 1914, initially in the Sherwood Foresters but was transferred to the Royal Marine Light Infantry, on 16 September. He served with the RN Brigade at home then embarked 18 November 1914 for France and joined the Chatham Division RMLI. He was demobilised on 10 September 1919. Frederick married Hannah Maria (k/a Maria) Abley (b. 1884 J/F/M Wolverhampton Staffs) in 1905 (J/A/S Nottingham) but they later separated, probably as early as 1908. Frederick has not yet been traced on the 1911 Census but Hannah was a boarder in the household of a widower, Arthur Gibson, whom she married in 1916 after her husband's death. Frederick served with the 2nd Bn Sherwood Foresters (9890 Lance Corporal) and was killed in France on 9 August 1915 (Ypres Menin Gate Memorial). A newspaper report of his death gave his address as 5 Alvey's Yard, Fisher Gate, the family home in 1901/1911. (See record on this Roll of Honour). Mary Elizabeth [Elizabeth] may have married in 1908 (A/M/J Nottingham) Emily married William E Oakland in 1912 (J/A/S Nottingham). They were living at 13 Ball Street, Nottingham, in 1939 when the England & Wales Register was compiled; William (b. 25 April 1891) was a transport foreman cleaning staff. Emily died in 1973 (J/F/M Nottingham). Frank has not been traced after the 1901 Census. James has not been traced after the 1911 Census although his name was included in a notice his sister Emily put in the local paper in 1915 on the anniversary of their brothers' deaths.
In 1902 he was a collier. In 1911 he was worked as a lace machinist (bobbin and carriage).
05 Oct 1916
252756 - CWGC Website
1st Bn Sherwood Foresters (Notts & Derby Regiment)
Leonard Wheelhouse attested for service (with the Derbyshire Regiment 20 January 1902, transferring from the Militia (4th Bn Notts & Derby Regiment) in which he had attested on 12 August 1901 (8501 Private). He was on home service from 20 January 1902 until 7 December 1903 and then served in Hong Kong from 8 December 1903, returning for home service until his discharge to the Army Reserve on 31 January 1906. He re-engaged on 15 January 1914. Leonards's service record shows that he was awarded 10 days imprisonment for absence 29/4/02. On 1 June 1903 he was 'in confinement for resisting an escort whose duty it was to apprehend him - an act to the prejudice of good order and military discipline'. He was imprisoned for 56 days. He was mobilised on 5 August 1914 and disembarked France 4 November 1914 (Medal Roll). Leonard was evacuated to England onboard SS St Andrew on 3 December 1914 suffering from frostbite to his feet. On recovering, he embarked England 18 March 1915 and rejoined the battalion on 26 April. He was granted leave from 4 February 1916 to 11 February 1916. He suffered from influenza the same year and was admitted to 23 Casualty Clearing Station on 6 April, and then to hospital in Rouen on 13 April 1916. He was discharged on 2 May 1916 and initially joined the Base Depot at Le Havre before being transferred to the entrenching battalion on 8 May 1916. Leonard died of gas poisoning on 5 October 1916 and is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery (grave ref E.14). Research David Nunn
Leonard named his parents, William and Maria, and two of his siblings, Arthur and Lizzie, all of 5 Alvey's Yard, Fisher Gate, Nottingham, as his next of kin when he first enlisted c1902. Leonard's personal property was returned to his widow at 2 Sun Street, Nottingham; in March 1917. His effects comprised: 1 disc, book containing letter and photos, 2 cap badges, 1 small badge (broken). According to details on the Medal Roll, Martha Wheelhouse applied for Leonard's Victory Medal on 14 August 1927 by which time she was living at 8 Virginia Street, Nottingham. Presumably he was also awarded the British Medal and the 1914 Star. His widow, Martha, was awarded a pension of 26/3d for herself and her three children with effect from 30 April 1917. Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 15 December 1915: ‘Wheelhouse. In loving memory of our dear mother [Maria], died December 15th [1903]; 12 years have passed since that sad day, when one we loved was called away. Also of our dear brother, Lance-Corpl. F Wheelhouse, killed in action, August 9th, 1915; often we sit and think of how you died, and to think you could not say good-bye before you closed your eyes; he died a hero’s death. From sorrowing father, sisters, brothers, Emily, Will,, Jim.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘Roll of Honour’, 2 November 1916: 'Wheelhouse. Killed in action, October 5th, 1916, Pte L Wheelhouse, aged 33 years, Sherwood Foresters, the beloved husband of Martha Wheelhouse (nee Martha Wheeldon), late of 5, Alvey’s-yard, Fisher-gate, and second son of William Wheelhouse. In a far and lonely battlefield, where the trees their branches bend, lies my loving husband, gone to his untimely end; sleep on dear husband, in a hero’s grave, a grave I may never seem but as long as life and memory last I will remember thee; but the unknown grave is the bitterest blow, none but aching hearts can know. From his broken-hearted wife and three children, also brother Arthur (Royal Marines) and sister Allice, also brothers-in-law Dennis and Bill (in France). (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 5 October 1917: ‘Wheelhouse.In affectionate remembrance of Pte L. Wheelhouse, Sherwood Foresters, died of wounds October 5th 1916, the beloved husband of Martha Wheelhouse (nee Wheeldon). Friends may think we have forgotten him. When at times they see us smile, but they little think the sorrow, that smile hides all the time. Sadly missed. Loving wife and three children.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk) Nottingham Evening Post, ‘In Memoriam’, 5 October 1917: ‘Wheelhouse. In loving memory of my dear brothers, Pte Leonard Wheelhouse, killed in action October 5th, 1916; also Lance-Corpl Frederick Wheelhouse, killed in action August 9th, 1915. Not forgotten. Brother Arthur, nephews Leonard and Willie, sister-in-law Alice.’ (www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk)
Remembered on


  • Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post on 14th December 1916, Photograph courtesy of Jim Grundy, facebook pages 'Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.'
    Leonard Wheelhouse - Photograph published in the Nottingham Evening Post on 14th December 1916, Photograph courtesy of Jim Grundy, facebook pages 'Small Town Great War Hucknall 1914-1918.'