357474 PTE. L. EAVES. K.L.R.
Leonard Eaves was born in April 1897 in Sale, Cheshire, and baptised on 2 May at Sale St Anne’s. His father was Thomas Eaves (b. 1869 in West Derby, Liverpool); his mother was Mary (Polly) Jackson (b. 1862 in Manchester). Tom and Polly were married in 1892 in Sale and they had four boys: George (b. 1893), Harry (b. 1895), then Leonard, and Eddie (b. 1899). By 1901, the family had moved to 5 Garfield Terrace, Lostock Hall and Tom was working as a railway platelayer. In 1911, the family were still living at 5 Garfield Terrace and Leonard (aged 14) had started work as a weaver in the cotton mill.
Leonard enlisted at Liverpool in the King’s (Liverpool Regiment) and was assigned service number 357474 and posted to 2/10 Battalion. 2/10 (Scottish) Battalion was formed in Liverpool in October 1914 as a Second Line battalion. On 8 February 1915 they came under orders of 172nd Brigade, 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division and they landed in France in February 1917.
Leonard was killed in action on 29 June 1917, along with 35 other officers and men from 2/10 Battalion. At the time, 57th Division was engaged in the defence of Armentières. An extract from the War Diary of 286 Brigade RFA (one of the artillery brigades attached to 57 Division) gives a flavour of what it was like on the front at that time:
21 June 1917. A raid was carried out on enemy lines at 1am (22nd) preceded by a preliminary barrage of two minutes. The raiding party consisted of 3 officers and 100 other ranks. They sustained a few casualties by following the barrage too closely, but no difficulty was encountered in entering the enemy's trenches. Resistance was met with from parties of the enemy in dugouts and trenches, and time prevented the completion of the plan, no prisoners were obtained but several enemy were killed. Our party withdrew according to timetable except one was missing and succeeded in bringing back all our casualties.
Leonard Eaves was just 20 years old.
Service No: 357474
Date of Death: 29/06/1917
Regiment/Service: The King's (Liverpool Regiment), 2nd/10th Bn.
Panel Reference: Panel 3.
Memorial: PLOEGSTEERT MEMORIAL
Leonard’s older brother George also served during the War. He lived at Ward’s New Row in Lostock Hall; in 1911 he married Ada Alice Cookson (b. 1892 in Penwortham) and they had four children. He was a cotton weaver. He originally enlisted with the Cameronian (Scottish Rifles) but was transferred to the Royal Engineers. He was 129579 SGT. G.R. EAVES. He was posted to France with the Royal Engineers in May 1915 and discharged in 1920, having achieved the rank of Sergeant.