Leonard Forster

Leonard was born in Moore in 1891. His parents were John (a platelayer) and Mary and the family lived at Spruce’s Cottages. In 1911, he was still living with the family and employed as a gardener.

Leonard married Susannah Florence Eley in Spilsby, Skegness, Lincolnshire on 25 July 1914. Susannah had been born there in 1886, but in 1901 was working as a dress skirt folder in Ardwick, Manchester and in 1911 was a housemaid at a rather grand house on Hill Cliffe, called ‘Shirley’. I wonder if this was where Leonard was a gardener? After their marriage, the couple returned to Cheshire and lived in Birchtree Cottage, Stockton Heath. Leonard was still employed as a gardener, though we don’t know for certain where he worked.

Leonard’s military records are a little confusing and difficult to read. He enlisted into the Royal Welsh Regiment on 11 December 1915. He was 5’ 6” and weighed 125 lbs. In 1917, he appears to have transferred to the Agriculture Corps of the King’s Liverpool Regiment and suffered an injury or illness towards the end of April that year. It is not possible to tell what effect this had on his military service.

Leonard had three brothers, all of whom served in WW1. John Condliffe, b1888, served with the Cheshire Regiment but was sadly killed in action on 23 November 1917. Albert, b1890, also served with the Cheshires and was injured very badly and in fact lost his leg in October 1916. The third brother, Reginald, b1896, also served with the Cheshires.

Leonard and Susannah had a daughter named Rita in 1920. She was born in Spilsby.

It has been difficult to trace Leonard and Susannah after that, but in 1939, a landscape gardener called Leonard Forster was living at 49 Sandbeck Ave, Skegness. His date of birth is given as 14 November 1891, which fits with our Leonard. There is no mention of Susannah. I have so far been unable to find any record of their deaths.