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Person Details
05 Jul 1894
Leonard was the son of John Chester and the brother of Mabel, Harry (b. 1893), William and Sandford (b. 1898). In 1901 John Chester (52), a joiner/carpenter, was living at 60 Upper Eldon Street, Sneinton, with his five children, Mabel (11), Harry (8), Leonard (6), William (4) and Sandford (3). Although John was described on the census as married he had a housekeeper, Martha Riley (40) who was unmarried. Only Harry and Sandford have so far been traced on the 1911 Census. Both brothers were living with their uncle, Joseph Riley (50) and his wife Maria (50) at 26 Cavendish Street, Butlers Hill, Hucknall. Joseph and Maria had been married for 12 years but had no children. Harry (18) was a coal miner while Sandford (12) was still at school. Leonard sister, Mabel Chester, was notified of his death in 1916; at the time she was living at 7 Arundel Street, Derby Road, Nottingham, but she later lived at 34 Wordsworth Road, Radford Boulevard, Nottingham. Sandford married Ellen Musham in 1918 (marriage registered J/F/M Basford). He was killed serving in France with the Royal Field Artillery (21195 Corporal) on 20 October 1918 (Harlebeke New British Cemetery).
He was a seaman, presumably in the Merchant Navy, before he enlisted in 1914.
13 Nov 1916
1543421 - CWGC Website
He enlisted in London
Royal Naval Division
1st Royal Marines Battalion Royal Naval Division. He enlisted in London on 19 October 1914 and embarked with the Royal Marine Brigade on 1 January 1915. He served with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force from 6 February 1915 to 18 October 1915 but was then unfit for duty, suffering from dysentry. He rejoined in the 1st Royal Marines Battalion on 7 December 1915 and served with the Battalion in France. He was reported missing, assumed killed in action, on 13 November 1916. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial.
No trace 1911 or record of birth but listed aged 6 in 1901 so CWGC age 23 at death is incorrect. (RM records give DOB 5 July 1894) CWGC cites only three fatalities named L Chester and UKSWD only two. Therefore in the absence of further evidence it has been assumed that Leonard Chester having family connections with Sneinton and Radford was also the man listed at Bulwell although no link to the area has been established. David Nunn
Remembered on