Following further research, we believe we are closer to identifying Harold LEONARD whose name appears on the Hacheston War Memorial. We now think it is likely he is Able-Seaman J/16071 Harold Leonard Leonard who died “17 July ‘15 by drowning” (i.e. not in action) while serving on HMS Indomitable. He is buried in Queensferry Cemetery, Linlithgow. He was born in Ealing in 1896 and is shown on the 1901 Census as living with his widowed mother Annie Leonard and a “visitor” Amy Hall in Ealing. On the 1911 Census Harold is shown as a “boy” on the Training Ship Mercury at Hound in Hampshire, while his mother and Amy Hall are shown as living at Marlesford Road, Hacheston. When and why his mother and Amy Hall moved from Ealing to Hacheston is not yet known (did they possibly arrive by train at Hacheston Halt?). Harold went on to train at HMS Ganges, and on his 18th birthday signed on for 12 years as an Ordinary Seaman. As well as HMS Ganges and Indomitable, he also served on HMS Royal Arthur. The record of Harold's death shows that the relative notified was his mother, c/o Rev. J. F. Mather, Wickham Market. Rev. Mather was in fact Vicar of Parham and Hacheston from 28 March 1896 until his death in 1935. He is buried in Parham churchyard and was the nephew of Frederick Snowden Corrance who was his Patron. Why Mrs. Leonard used him as a forwarding address (possibly she was a member of his congregation) is not currently known. Mrs Empson then did a "general" search on The Genealogist and they listed all the Annie Leonard's born around 1870. She then noted that the only one listed under Blyth RDC was Annie Leonarde (with an 'e' at the end - somebody's mistaken reading of the surname). Just by chance she fed in Annie Leonarde at Hacheston and up she came, still living there in 1939! Annie Leonard's occupation in 1939 is described as "Unpaid domestic duties", with the correct d.o.b. 14.5.1870. and "widowed"; she was then listed as the only person in the house but its name was difficult to decipher, We looked at the archive material and examined it under a magnifying glass. We interpreted the handwritten house name as "Marles Vale", Marlesford Road, Hacheston. Marlesvale is the third house on the left in Marlesford Road when approached from the B1116 junction and still stands, though now with a different name. The entry confirms this is where Annie was living in 1939.
Inspection of the copy of the Hacheston Burial Register held in the Vestry found that it sadly contains no mention of Annie Leonard but it does have the following entry for Amy Hall:
1939 Amy HALL, ‘Marlesvale', Hacheston, 9 Sept, 65, Walter Edwards, vicar
This implies Amy was also living at Marlesvale. It also means, we think, Amy is buried in the churchyard though sadly with no known headstone or marker. However, this is not uncommon, especially during the war and the years immediately following it when materials (and money) were in short supply. The recent cutting back of undergrowth in the churchyard by the Community Service team has revealed an area by the bottom fence where there are headstones lying flat and grave markers that have been disturbed so was clearly an area used for burials. Someone with a drone has taken aerial photos of the churchyard so we might eventually be able to identify where Amy lies.
Sadly, when we looked at the entries for 1940 to 1947 there is no mention of Annie. Possibly she moved out of Marlesvale when Amy died, or possibly remained living there but had her funeral service and was buried elsewhere. The fact that Mr and Mrs Mutimer bought Marlesvale in 1947, which we believe is the year Annie died, still remains of great interest. If anyone has any further information about Annie Leonard or Amy Hall, we should be very grateful to hear from them.
Harold has a very handsome and unusual CWGC marble headstone which contains an inscription from his mother at the foot:
AND WHEN THE SUNSET
SHALL I NOT SEE THEE
WAITING STAND - MOTHER
This is from the poem ‘Snow-Bound' by the American poet John Greenleaf Whittier. It suggests his mother was a well-educated and literary-minded person with sufficient means to pay for her son's headstone. We are trying to obtain further information from Queensferry Cemetery. The following is a link to Harold's page on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website from where you can download Harold's Commemorative Certificate. Queensferry Cemetery contains 180 First World War burials, almost all of them naval. There are also eight burials of the Second World War.
Grateful thanks are extended to Mrs Evelyn Empson of Framlingham and Philip Tallent from Wickham Market Archive Centre for their help in locating this information.
David Clough and Richard Ginn