Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Date of BirthJanuary 5, 1890
Place of BirthTetbury, Gloucestershire
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinErnest Lambley, brother, Kenora, Ontario
Trade / CallingFarmer
ReligionChurch of England
Service Details
Regimental Number424259
Service Record Link to Service Record
Battalion28th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Date of EnlistmentFebruary 12, 1915
Age at Enlistment25
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarNo
Death Details
Date of DeathJanuary 4, 1917
Age at Death27
Buried AtTetbury (St. Saviour) Churchyard, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom

Lambley, Leonard Herbert

Found on the passenger list for the Athenia, 17 year old Leonard Herbert Lambley arrived in Canada on 20 August 1906. Occupation given as farm labourer, according  to the record he had been sent to Canada by his father.  He was next found in Tacoma,  Washington signing a Declaration of Intention on 25 November 1910 to become a US citizen. He served in the United States Infantry, enlisting in the Co M 8 Infantry in 1910. For twelve months he was stationed at San Diego, California and from there he was sent to the Philippines where he served for two years during the uprising of the Maras.

By March of 1914, with $190 in his pocket,  Leonard had crossed the border to Canada at Emerson, Manitoba, destination given as Kenora, Ontario. His brother Ernest had arrived the previous July and had found work with the CPR out of Kenora.

The Lambley family was from Gloucestershire, England although father William Lambley was born in Moreton, Lincolnshire and mother Mary Eliza in Duddington, Northamptonshire. The couple married 9 February 1876 in Northamptonshire but by the 1881 England census were living in Beverston, Tetbury, Gloucestershire where William had found work as a gamekeeper. By the time of Leonard’s birth on 5 January 1890 the family had moved to the town of Tetbury, in Tetbury, Gloucestershire and the family continued to grow. Once again William was working as a gamekeeper. William and Mary had at least 12 children although  three died in infancy. By the first quarter of 1903 Mary had passed away, leaving William a widower with many children. The Lambley children were Elizabeth, Annie Maria, Richard William, Frederick Walter, Ernest Nigel, Robert John, Gordon Cecil, Leonard Herbert, Charles Gordon, Walter Stanley, Mary Grace, and Ellen Lillian.

Leonard William Lambley enlisted on 12 February 1915 in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba.  He went overseas with 2nd Reinforcing Draft of 45th Battalion, embarking from Canada on 4 September 1915 aboard the  Missanabie. He embarked for France in January of 1916, taken on strength with the 28th Battalion in the field on the 21st. The 28th (Northwest) Battalion had been recruited in 1914 from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, went overseas in June of 1915, and by September had been sent to  the front lines.

In April of 1916 Leonard was admitted to the No 3 General Hospital in Boulogne suffering from a gunshot wound to the jaw. Invalided to England to convalesce, Leonard returned to France in July, spending time with the 2nd Entrenching Battalion before rejoining the 28th Battalion in August.

In the fall of 1916 the 28th Battalion was involved in the battle of the Somme and by the 14th of September had moved up to the front lines at Fleurs-Courcelette. With the 27th Battalion on its right and the 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles on its left, the 28th was ordered to attack and take a section of the Sugar Trench along the Bapaume Road with the support of at least three tanks, two  that became stuck behind the front line.  With so many men, there was mass confusion in the trenches but the attack commenced at 6:20 the morning of the 15th, to continue throughout the day. From the war diaries of the 28th for September 15th: although ‘attack successful and objective obtained’, the cost  was high for the 28th Battalion with‘our  estimated casualties 300 OR, Officers 3 killed, 1 missing believed killed, 6 wounded’. It is likely that Leonard was one of the wounded.

Leonard was admitted to the No 1 Canadian General Hospital in Etaples on the 18th of September, suffering from gunshot wounds to the leg as well as compound leg fractures. By the 8th of October he had been  invalided to the 2nd Southern General Hospital in Bristol.

Private Leonard Herbert Lambley died on 4 January 1917 in the Second Southern General Hospital in Bristol, England. From the Canada CEF Commonwealth War Graves Registers for L H Lambley: ‘Died of Wounds-2nd Southern General Hospital, Bristol, GSW R Leg Comp. Fract.’ He is interred in the St Saviour’s Churchyard in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England. Notification and grave particulars were sent to Leonard’s brother Ernest back in Kenora. His medals and decorations, plaque and scroll were sent to his father William in Tetbury.

Leonard’s brother Ernest died on 13 April 1923 in the Muskoka Cottage Sanatorium in the District of Muskoka, Ontario, having being sent there from Kenora in an attempt to recover from tuberculosis. It is unlikely that any of Leonard’s other siblings immigrated to Canada.

Private Leonard Herbert Lambley is commemorated on page 271 of the First World War Book of Remembrance housed in the Peace Tower of the Canadian Parliament Buildings in Ottawa and on the War Memorial in Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England.

by Judy Stockham

Lambley-Leonard-Herbert-2 Lambley-Leonard-Herbert-3 Lambley-Leonard-Herbert-4 Lambley-Leonard-Herbert-5 Lambley-Leonard-Herbert-6 Lambley-Leonard-Herbert-7

Photograph of Leonard as found on the public Blackwell family tree on
Grave marker photograph and Tetbury War Memorial photographs by Paul Best, Tetbury


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