4th November 1918

Private Leonard Lakeland

201860, 16th Bn., Royal Welsh Fusiliers

Killed in Action, 4th November 1918

Private Leonard Lakeland, 201860, 16th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 113th Brigade, 38th Welsh Division
 
Leonard Lakeland was born in Burnley, Lancashire, in 1892 and grew up in Padiham. He was the eldest of 4 siblings, with two brothers Thomas and Fred, and a sister, Winifred. Leonard decided to join the army in April 1916 following the death of his brother, Thomas, in August 1915. (He had been serving in the Dardenelles, Turkey, and was only 20 years of age).
 
Leonard signed up with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was posted to France, arriving in October 1916 where he served for 2½  years. On the morning of 4th November 1918, Leonard was killed in action at Englefontaine, one week before Armistice Day. He was 26 years old.
 
The service records for Leonard Lakeland have not survived and therefore we can only speculate which of the actions of the 38th Welsh Division he was involved in. He may have been injured or on leave during parts of 1916, 1917 or indeed 1918 and missed any of the events listed below.
 
Let us work with the assumption that Leonard was with his unit throughout 1918, in which case he was involved in the attack on Bouzincourt Ridge in April and the heavy fighting throughout the British 100 days offensive which began in August. This includes the actions in Aveluy wood, the crossing of the Ancre, La Boiselle, Longueval, Ginchy, Sailly-Saillisel and Mesnil-en-Arrouaise, Mametz Wood and many more.
 
The 38th Division was on the heels of the Germans during their retreat and Leonard would have been involved in many engagements. This was a very tough time for the men of the 16th Battalion, like all her sister battalions their number were depleted by severe casualties. In some cases battalion strength numbered 50 men, a battalion at full strength containing over a 1000 soldiers.
 
Leonard Lakeland is buried in Englefontaine British Cemetery