Rank: Private
Service Number: 33467.
Regiment: 3rd Cheshire Regiment Died Wednesday 16th February 1916 Age 22County Memorial Poynton
Grave\Panel Ref: 32-33.319
United Kingdom



Buried St Georges Churchyard Poynton

Son of Samuel and Harriet Wainwright of 224Newtown Poynton.

Leonard had a sister Lily, and a younger brother Stanley.  His occupation was a Shop assistant (Grocer)                                                                                 

Leonard Wainwright , enlisted at Stockport on the 1st of December 1915. He was posted to the 3rd Cheshire’s on the 1st of February 1916. 

The 3rd Battalion was a special reserve Battalion. On mobilisation in 1914 it proceeded  to its war station in Birkenhead. Liverpool and Birkenhead together became a “defended port”, The Garrison which consisted of 4 Special Reserve Battalions were known as the Mersey Defences, their  duties were to guard the docks and to occupy certain strategic positions on the Wirral, and on Hilbre Island. 



Sad death of a young soldier 


“Among recent recruits from the village was a young man employed at the Co-operative store in Park lane, near the church named Leonard Wainwright, son of Samuel Wainwright , Newtown. He was 22 years of age and his early and sad death came to a great shock to his many Friends, his connection with the Co-operative store making him familiarly known in the neighbourhood, He enlisted 3 weeks ago last Monday and was sent to Birkenhead where he at once commenced his drill.

He had been before 4 or 5 doctors and had been passed fit for home service . Before joining, he had been examined by Doctor Wyse of Poynton  and, although fit to follow his employment at the store, he was not strong. The strenuous nature of his drill appeared to be too much for him and on the 12th inst he returned home in a poor condition. Doctor Wyse attended him and not withstanding every attention he passed away on Wednesday the 16th .

The military authorities had been apprised of his condition and one of the doctors saw him prior to his death . The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon, the internment being at St George’s church which was attended by a sympathetic congregation. A large crowd assembled in the vicinity . 

In addition to many relatives the funeral party included the employees from both shops of the Co-operative Society , and the members of the local company of the Cheshire Volunteers  from which the deceased had been a member . The service which had been conducted by H N Ross (vicar) was deeply impressive.

 A regrettable incident was the fact that a letter received from his Regiment on the morning of his death called for his return to duty , an incident  which seems to convey the impression that the officers were unaware of his condition. It has transpired from a recent medical examination that he would of succumbed to his ailment sooner or later , but there can be little doubt that the drill was too arduous for one in his condition and it has to be feared hastened his death . The question of medical examinations have given rise to considerable comment.” 

A letter from  the Lieutenant Colonel in charge of the Mersey Defences dated 16th March 1916 states 

  “ I enclose herewith the report called for in your letter of  the 7th March 1916, and endorse everything the O. C,3rd Cheshire Regiment has said regarding the training given, and care exercised, in dealing with recruits in the Battalion under his command. This is apparently one of the exceptional cases which occur from time to time in which internal physical disabilities of men remain undetected at the Medical Inspections but develop rapidly when men are subject to military training.”

Leonard died at home from Brights disease (Kidney failure). And was buried on February 19th 1916 in the family grave.


Cheshire County Memorial Project would like to thank Phil Underwood for compiling this page on Leonard