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Leonard Southworth was born in Preston in 1879 the youngest of at least nine children born to his parents Stephen and Ann Southworth (nee Welch). Stephen and Ann married on the 25th September 1859 in the Parish Church of St. John in Preston. Leonard had six brothers and two sisters; Alice (1860), Alexander (1862), James (1865), Elizabeth Ellen (1869), John Joseph (1871), William (1875), George (1876) and Stephen (1878).

In 1891 Leonard and three of his brothers, John, George and Stephen were all living with their parents at 34 West View off Ribbleton Lane in Preston. Eleven year old Leonard and his three brothers are all listed as cotton weavers while their father`s occupation was a street sweeper.

On the 5th August 1898 he enlisted into the Militia at Preston, joining the 3rd Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. His medical inspection notes that he was five feet five and a quarter inches tall and he weighed 130lbs and had a 34” chest. He had a dark complexion, brown hair and brown eyes. Leonard gave his address as 23 Isherwood Street in Preston and his occupation as a general labourer in the employ of Messrs. Irvin & Sellers. In the newspaper article below it states that Leonard had also served in the Boer War at some point (no further information).

The 1901 Census shows him as being resident at 5 Thompson Street living with his eldest married sister Alice Livingstone and her four children, Ann, Frederick, David and Elizabeth. Leonard`s occupation was a general labourer. He was still living with his sister in 1911 although they had moved house to 3 Shakespeare Road in Preston and Leonard had gone back to working as a cotton weaver. Alice`s daughter Elizabeth and a grandson Norman are also listed as being resident at the property.

Leonard was 36 years old and unmarried when he enlisted in August 1915 prior to which he had been working at Wharton Mill as a weaver. He was issued with the service number 21774 and posted to the 3rd Battalion LNL. He sailed to France on the 30th November 1915 with a batch of reinforcements and was subsequently posted to the 1st Battalion of the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment.

After the 1st Battalion`s involvement in the Battle of Loos 25th September – 15th October 1915 they remained in the Loos area for a number of months afterwards but was not engaged in any major operations. The Battalion spent periods in and out of the front line trenches and the inevitable casualties occurred, hardly a day passing by without some Officer or man being hit when up in the front line.

Sadly, Leonard was killed in action on the 10th May 1916. The newspaper article below states that he was killed on the 9th May but the CWGC and others have recorded his date of death as being on the 10th.

Leonard`s family had the following information published in the Preston Guardian after news of his death had been confirmed.21774 Private Leonard Southworth 1st Battalion

Leonard was later buried in St. Patrick`s Cemetery, Loos. After the war he was awarded the 1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals in recognition of his service and sacrifice for his country.

His name was also recorded on the Harris Museum and Library Roll of Honour in his hometown of Preston.

Harris RoH Southworth 1st Battalion

Harris Museum Roll of Honour

Rank: Private
Service No: 21774
Date of Death: 10/05/1916
Regiment/Service: The Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, 1st Bn.

Janet Davis
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