Private Leonard Louis Foley

Date of Birth 29 July 1881
Age at Death 35
Date of Death 28 April 1917
Service Number G/60976
Military Service 17th Battalion Royal Fusiliers
Merton Address 83 Dupont Road, Raynes Park
Local Memorial Mitcham War Memorial

Additional Information

Leonard was born in Battersea on 29 July 1881 and lived at 14 Amies Street, Battersea with his father Arthur, a printer compositor, and his mother Emily, along with his five siblings. In 1886, Leonard and his brother Herbert were enrolled at the Basnet Road School , Battersea (later renamed John Burns School). In 1889 he was enrolled again at Gideon Road School for Senior Boys in Battersea.

In the 1901 census Leonard is shown as working as a Piano Polisher and by 1911 the family had moved to 16 Romberg Road, Upper Tooting and Leonard was employed by the Gas Company as a Burner Attendant.

Leonard enlisted in London and first joined the East Surrey Regiment. He later transferred to the 17th “Empire Battalion” of the Royal Fusiliers. This unit was formed in London on 31 August 1914, by the British Empire Committee.

At the time of Leonard's death his battalion had been involved in the large-scale attack at Arras, launched earlier in the month. Leonard was clearly a man of courage, as he was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in battle. The Medal was first instituted in 1916 by King George V and was awarded to non commissioned personnel in the British and Commonwealth forces.

Leonard was sadly killed in action on 28 April 1917. He has no known grave but is remembered on the Arras Memorial (Bay 3), in addition to the Mitcham War Memorial. Leonard was entitled to the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, which were presented to his wife in 1921.

According to Probate records, Leonard left the substantial sum of £92 4s 8d to his father Arthur.

Leonard’s mother, Emily is shown as living at 83 Dupont Road, Raynes Park in 1924. His brother, Christopher A. Foley is recorded as living at 17 Hawthorne Road, Mitcham between 1913 -1916 (Kelly’s). He also served in the First World War and, like his brother, was awarded the Military Medal for bravery in action.

The military is clearly in the blood of the Foley family. One of Leonard's young nephew's was named in his honour and joined Bomber Command during World War II. Leonard's Great-nephew also served in the military.


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