Private Leonard Colin Cable - Military Medal

Date of Birth c. 1896
Age at Death 20
Date of Death 15 June 1917
Service Number 6246
Military Service 12th Battalion Royal Fusiliers
Merton Address 470 Kingston Road, Raynes Park
Local Memorial St. Saviour’s Church, Raynes Park

Additional Information

Leonard was born in 1896 in Eastbourne, East Sussex. He was the son of Henry Cable, a tobacconist and newsagent from Camden, London and his wife, Eliza, who was originally from Plymouth in Devon. The couple also had an older daughter, Lilla, who was born in 1881.

In 1901 the Cable family was living at 15 Pevensey Road, Eastbourne, together with a boarder, Rose Brooks. Like most contemporary families with a fair income, they employed a servant to cook and clean. By 1911 the family was living at 470 Kingston Road, Raynes Park. Henry Cable also ran a confectioner’s shop from this address, assisted by his wife.

In May 1915, eighteen year old Leonard volunteered for military service. He became a Private in the Royal Fusiliers, serving alongside army regulars in the 2nd Battalion from 24 May to 7 October 1915, before transferring to the 8th ( Service ) battalion. This was formed as part of Kitchener’s volunteer army and fought on the Western Front. Leonard spent most of his wartime service in this conflict zone, returning to the 2nd Battalion between late December and mid-January of 1916.

Leonard showed great courage during his wartime service and was given the military medal. This was awarded for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire, or for individual or associated acts of bravery. The award was announced in the London Gazette, allowing Leonard Colin Cable to add the letters M.M. to his name.

For the first six months of 1917, Leonard served with the 12th battalion, Royal Fusiliers. He and his comrades fought at the battle of Vimy Ridge ( 9 – 12 April. ) By the summer his unit had transferred to Flanders. Here Leonard fought in the Battle of Messines, which saw British forces use mines, followed by a creeping barrage of artillery fire, before storming and seizing German defences on a ridge between Ploegsteert and Mount Sorrel. Leonard was one of 17,000 Allied casualties. He was killed on 15 June 1917, aged 20. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate in Ypres and at St. Saviour’s Church, Raynes Park.


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