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Out Of The Blue, Yet Another, Awsome '1914-15 WW1 TRIO'

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REF. TO:  Pte. - A/Cpl. Walter LEONARD 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, France 1915 - 1916, Severely W.I.A. / G.S.W. - Head on 17 March 1916, 'The Bluff ', vicinity of Ypres.

   Good Morning Folks,

     Although U.K. Medals aren't my usual purchases these days, sometimes I just can't resist if it appears to be too good of a value ! I just grabbed a very nice condition 1914 - 15 'Trio', all correctly impressed to Pte. - A/Cpl. W. Leonard, Suff. R. 8896. { RE: No. 8896, Walter LEONARD, Coy A, 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, 1914 - 1916. NOTE regarding his sub-unit assignment. I am fully certain as to him serving throughout his 'career' with the Suffolk's 2nd Battalion, BUT can not for my confirm his assignment to Company A ? My indication referring to Coy A is per an official 'Character Assessment Form', dating from shortly after his Enlistment. Document is signed by an Officer stating his unit as, Coy A, 2d Suffolk. Now, was this A Coy Officer signing Documents throughout the Battalion, or ??  } Yet another point to wonder ?

     Initially, I was was of course hoping that the recipient had been from amongst the very few surviving members of Suffolk's 2nd Battalion was escaped being overrun at Le Cateau in 1914. It wasn't to be unfortunately, as 'my ' Soldier didn't arrive over in France until 27 December 1914. 

     Although I'm still in the very early stages of my research, I have already learned that the recipient had an extremely interesting, yet somewhat brief Service Career. He Enlisted just 11 days past his 18 birthday during February 1914, but for some reason, most possibly training requirements, he didn't arrive in France until late December 1914.

     He served with his 2nd Battalion, Suffolk Regiment until having to be medically evacuated due to an intestinal infection of some sort during May 1915.

After his diagnosis of Gastro Enteritis, he was evacuated home to the U.K. for treatment. He was ordered by Medical Officers to remain in the U.K. for at least 3 months, or more. So, he remained undergoing treatment until, as per his own request, he returned to France with his 2nd Battalion on 01 March 1916.

( Well, the poor kid sound have stayed home in 'Blightly', as the future didn't bide well for him at all !! ) As per his Soldiers' Pension File, he suffered a 'G.S.W. - Head', sometime during March of 1916 in 'Ypries'. ( Apparently a misspelling of Ypres. )

That pretty much ended his U.K. Military Service, as the wound resulted in the removal of his right eye, thereby making him 'unfit for further military service'. From what I can discern so far, it appears that he was Officially Discharged as an 'Invalid' on 13 June 1916. He does appear on the official S.W.B. Rolls, as being awarded Badge # 159681, for 'G.S.W. Head'. { NOTE: If course if anyone has ANY information as to the current location of S.W.B. No. 159681, would they PLEASE let me know !! } 

     Well, that's all that I've managed to accomplish so far, but, as always, 'the eternal hunt must go on' !! THANK YOU for reading.

               Best,   Dom Pastore Jr. 
        { dpast32 / dpast32@aol.com }


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Hello Dom.....

The way that I read the document.....   The signature of the officer is for his position not Leonard's...…    In some cases an officer did other jobs along with his official position.....   It was interesting to see that the GSW to the head was actually to the Eye as stated in another document.....




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" It was interesting to see that the GSW to the head was actually to the Eye as stated in another document....." 

I spent considerable time reading Great War personnel records for a writing project I did a couple of years ago and 'GSW' seems to have been a  generic notation on first injury reports - those done by the SBs or Medical Officer when casualties were first treated.  It looks as if it was often used simply to separate 'penetrating wounds' from other types of injury and, in a number of cases I looked at was later amended to indicate whether the damage was done by shrapnel, a bullet or in some other manner. 

Also, not uncommonly, first diagnoses simply record 'head', 'leg', 'back' and so on, with more specific anatomical notes - 'left thigh' for example, in subsequent treatment notes.


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THANK YOU Gents for the kind replies ! By now, I've read through most of his 2 Files. It appears as if there's 2 related to him, 1st is the standard Attestation, & the 2nd is his Pension File. He definitely received an GSW to his head, as it's referred to on numerous occasions throughout his records. It states that this right eye required removal, & although I'm not certain as of yet, he may also have become totally blind due to his injury ? The problem is that the text ( writing ) within the records is very small, & most appears to be in cursive, which is extremely difficult to decipher !! He must have been pretty well injured, as he was listed as 'totally disabled' on 13 June 1916. However, he get married a year or so after being discharged, & apparently  live quite a while, not passing away until 1974. I'd love to know where he was buried so that I might create some form of memorial for him, but haven't been able to determine that fact yet. I'm also now on the hunt for his SWB # 159681, but where the check that may be is anyone's guess ? It's funny that his Trio was intact, but his SWB was missing ? Oh well, as always, the search goes on !! THANKS again, & Please everyone, stay safe out there !!

         Dom P. / dpast32@aol.com

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