Private/2/Lieutenant Leonard Foster
Born. 1889, Long Preston.
Died. Empire Hospital, London, 13th August 1916.
Leonard Foster was born in Long Preston, near Settle, to Mr & Mrs John William Foster, Fancy Drapers. He had an older brother James and two sisters Leila and Frances.
In the 1890’s the Foster family moved to Poole In Wharfedale, a village, near Leeds, where John William opened up a Fancy Drapers shop, John William & Co, and latterly at 72, 73, 74 Briggate, and 2, 4 Queens Parade, Leeds. His son William taking over from him on his death.
At the outbreak of war, Leonard aged 25, was working as an Architect & Surveyor for the Leeds City Corporation. He was living with his mother, his father having passed away a few years earlier, at 6 Mexborough Street, Harehills, Leeds.
On the 3rd September 1914 Leonard went to the Leeds town hall and promptly enlisted, as a Pte, into the “Leeds Pals”. He was soon to be commissioned, and on the 26th July 1915, whilst the “pals” were training at Ripon, he obtained the rank of 2/Lt and posted as Commanding Officer of “5” Platoon, “B” Company, he also became the scout officer. 15/1220 Pte Horace Grant was to become his “servant” (he survived the war)
On the 9th October 1915, Leonard married, his sweetheart, Martha (Mattie) Avery Hill, who was the second daughter of Mr George Hill, an Artist, of 34 St Michael’s Lane, Headingley. They were married at St Matthews Church, Camp Road. The service conducted by the Reverend W.H.L.Jennings (B.A), Martha’s cousin.
In December 1915, two months after his marriage, Leonard set sail for Egypt, with his “Pals”, never to see his bride again!
On Saturday July 8th 1916, the “Yorkshire Evening Post” reported:
“2nd Lt Leonard Foster is the latest of the “pals” officers, who is announced to have been wounded. He is in hospital in France”
Leonard’s wounds were so severe that he was transferred to the Empire Hospital, in London he died from these wounds, in hospital, on the 13th August 1916.
His body was interned, at 2:00pm on the 16th August 1916, at St Wilfreds Churchyard, Poole in Wharfedale, the same grave as his father.