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 22089 Leonard Gibson
- Age: 21
- From: Widnes, Lancs
- Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 20th Btn
- K.I.A Wednesday 1st August 1917
- Commemorated at: Menin Gate Memorial
Panel Ref: Panel 4 & 6
Leonard Gibson was born in 1895 in Widnes and was the son of James Gibson and his wife Eleanor (nee Randles) of 88 Cholmondeley St, Widnes. His father died in 1903. Leonard was a pupil at the West Bank Council school and a member of the Hartland Wesleyan Chapel in Oakland Street, West Bank. Prior to enlisting he had been employed as a clerk at Gossage's.
The 1911 Census shows the family living at 88 Cholmondeley St, Widnes. His mother Eleanor is a widow aged 46, born in Runcorn in1865. She had been married for 24 years before being widowed and had seven children of which one had died. Of the surviving children William John is aged 22, born 1889 is a carpenter and joiner and was born in Sowerby Bridge, Yorkshire, Ada is aged 19, born 1892 is a packer for a dry soap manufacturer, Leonard aged 15, shown as born in 1896 is a junior clerk also for dry soap manufacturer, Doris aged 13, was born 1898, Frederick aged 10, born 1901 and James Henry aged 8, born 1903 are at school.
Leonard enlisted on the 5th November 1914 in Liverpool joining the 20th Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment as Private 22089. He stated that he was aged 19 years and one day and he gave his occupation as a clerk. He was five feet four and half inches tall, weighed 112lbs, had a fresh complexion, grey eyes, light brown hair and gave his religion was Wesleyan.
26.09.15: Absent without leave- Confined to barracks for one day and forfeit of a days pay.
08.12.16: Granted leave from 8.12.16-17.12.16.
Leonard was killed in action on the 1st August, 1917, aged 21 during the third Battle of Ypres. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Belgium.
The 20th Battalion diary gives details of the circumstances that the Battalion found themselves in during the early phases of the 3rd Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele). Having taken part in the initial fighting of 31st July 1917 there is a general write up in relation to the period 01st -08th August and specifics solely from the 03rd August. As such it is impossible to say exactly how each of the men who fell on 01st or 2nd August met their death.
20th Battalion Diary 01st August – 08th August
The Battalion continued to hold the position taken up on the morning of 31st July. After the first day the weather was very wet and the going very difficult, but the men’s spirits remained wonderfully good. From time to time there was very heavy enemy shelling and in addition to this machine guns and snipers were very active. The work of communication was extremely difficult and the wires to Companies and to Battalions on our flanks were repeatedly cut and were only kept going by most excellent work by our linesmen, who suffered very heavy casualties as also did the runners.
His mother had just returned home from visiting her other son, John, who was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers and in hospital suffering from gas poisoning. The telegram informing her of the death in action of Leonard was delivered just as she arrived home. She later learned he had been killed by shell-fire during the fighting for Pilkem Ridge. She also received his personal effects which consisted of photos, a wallet, a National Savings Certificate and a bag.
Leonard is commemorated locally at St Mary's Church.
Killed On This Day.(103 Years this day)
Thursday 19th September 1918.
Pte 88128 John William Rimmer
33 years old