Whitaker, Leonard

2nd Lieut. Leonard Whitaker, 7th KOYLI

BORN HULL 1895. THE ONLY SON OF LEONARD WHITAKER (1866-1942) & LOUISA BROOKS (1865-1931), OF 76 PEEL STREET, HULL. HE HAD TWO SISTERS, DAISY AND ELSIE. A FORMER CLERK, LIVING AT 70 BLAKE STREET, HULL (1911 CENSUS). HE ENLISTED AS A TEENAGER, ON 18/08/1914. SERVED AS PRIVATE, 15501, “B” COMPANY, 8TH SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY. POSTED TO FRANCE AND LANDED AT LE HAVRE ON 10/09/1915. THE BATTALION FOUGHT AT LOOS, ON 26/09/1915, WHERE HIS DIVISON SUFFERED 3,800 CASUALTIES. IT ALSO ATTACKED BEAUMONT HAMEL, ON THE SOMME, IN 1916. DURING THIS TIME LEONARD WAS PROMOTED TO CORPORAL AND SERGEANT AND WAS OBVIOUSLY A CAPABLE AND EFFICIENT SOLDIER. HE SERVED AT THE FRONT FOR 18 MONTHS. AND RECEIVED HIS COMMISSION ON 29/05/1917. HE HAD ONLY BEEN WITH THE 7TH KING’S YORKSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY (KOYLI), FOR FOUR WEEKS, WHEN HE WAS KILLED, LEADING HIS MEN, ON 16/08/1917, AGED 22. ON THIS DAY THE 7BN KOYLI, CROSSED THE STEENBEEK EARLY IN THE MORNING, WITH THE 7TH SOMERSET LIGHT INFANTRY. THE ADVANCE WAS HELD UP BY FIRE FROM THE BLOCKHOUSES TO THE WEST OF LANGEMAACK VILLAGE. THESE WERE CLEARED BY MEN OF THE THE 7TH KOYLI BATTALION, INCLUDING PRIVATE, WILFRED EDWARDS, WHO WON THE VICTORIA CROSS. LANGEMAACK  WAS RETAKEN, HAVING BEEN LOST TO TE GERMANS IN APRIL 1915.

LEONARD WHITAKER IS COMMEMORATED ON THE TYNE COT MEMORIAL, BELGIUM. HIS DEATH, ADDRESS AND PHOTOGRAPH WERE REPORTED IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL, ON 01/09/1917. *

LEONARD WHITAKER IS ALSO REMEMBERED ON HULL’S CLIFTON STREET SCHOOL MEMORIAL.


First name:
LEONARD TOPHAM
Rank:
2nd Lieutenant
Date Died
16/08/1917
Place died:
TYNE COT MEMORIAL, Belgium
Age:
22
76 , PEEL STREET, HULL, EAST YORKSHIRE, UK