1885 - 1916
CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916
Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916
Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Pte 16050 Leonard Charles Brownlie
- Age: 23
- From: Heswall, Cheshire
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 17th Btn
- Died Friday 14th January 1916
- Commemorated at: Cerisy-gailly Mil Cem
Panel Ref: II.H.6
Leonard Charles was the second of two sons born to John and Hannah Brownlie in 1893 in Gayton, Cheshire. John Wallace Brownlie and Hannah Clark married 24th July 1887 at St Mary’s Edge Hill, Liverpool. They had 3 sons Gordon James who died age 10 in 1899, John and Leonard Charles who was born 1893 in Gayton, Wirral.
In 1901 he lived at Dee View Road, Heswall with his 33 years old widowed mother, a boarding house keeper, and had a brother, John, who was 2 years older. His father had died in 1899.
In 1905 his mother remarried at West Derby, Liverpool, to Arthur Lavender Richardson and according to CWGC they were living at 26 Burwen Drive, Orrell Park, Liverpool in about 1920.
The 1911 Census shows the family living at 38 Hertford Road, Bootle. Leonard Charles and his brother John are residing with their Mother and her husband Arthur L Richardson and children Arthur W and Maud Richardson and half siblings Drusilla age 4 and Fred age 2.
Prior to the outbreak of the war Leonard was employed as a cashier for City of Glasgow Life Assurance Company, having commenced employment in 1909.
Leonard enlisted at St George's Hall, Liverpool joining the 17th Battalion as Private 16050. He was billeted at Prescot Watch Factory, trained there and also at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 17th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhll Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 7th November 1915 and earned his three medals.
Maddocks shows Brownlie as having died on 4th January 1916 but CWGC and SDGW show his date of death as 14th January. The battalion diary for 14th January 1916 records:
2am 14.01.16 - No.16050 Pte Brownlee L.C. (D Coy), No.15563 Pte Roberts Rees (C Coy), & No. 24934 Pte Harvey C.E. (D Coy) accidentally klled by premature explosion of rifle grenade.
A newspaper report records the details of the above incident from the battalion diary:
"Leonard C Brownlie of the 1st City Batt. King's Liverpool Regiment was killed in action in France on January 14th, by the accidental explosion of a bomb which was being prepared for discharge at the enemy. Two of his comrades shared a similar fate and it took nine hours to convey the bodies from the spot where the accident happened to the Battalion's headquarters three quarters of a mile in the rear.
Pte Brownlie was formerly in business in Liverpool and resided with his mother, Mrs Richardson at 24 Cambridge Raod, Bootle".
Leonard’s death was remembered in the Liverpool Echo 15/1/1917:
- Roll on Honour – BROWNLIE – In loving memory of Leonard (Len) Brownlie Kings Liverpool Regiment, killed in action January 14 1916 – Ever remembered by all
BROWNLIE – In loving memory of Leonard Chas Brownlie Kings Liverpool Regiment killed in action January 13 1916 (Fondly remembered by May)
Leonard was 25 years of age when he died and now rests at Cerisy- Gailly Military Cemetery in France.
He is commemorated on the Bootle Civic Memorial and Christ Church Church of England School Memorial.
We currently have no further information on Leonard Charles Brownlie, If you have or know someone who may be able to add to the history of this soldier, please contact us.