Leonard Charles Cockroft

June 21, 2015

COCKCROFT, Leonard Charles- – – – SPC 1912

DoB:- – 7 July, 1898, Sale, VIC

Father:- – John Edward Cockcroft

Mother:- – Mary Jane

Leonard Charles was a boarder at St Patrick’s.

Service No:– 3282

Rank:– – Private

Unit:– – 37th Battalion

The first time Leonard Cockcroft tried to enlist was on 17 February 1916 as a 17 year old. He was 5 feet five and a half inches tall, and had a dark complexion with brown eyes and black hair. He gave his occupation as clerk. At his first assessment, the examining medical officer stated that he was -‘unfit for any service’ due to being underage.

He attempted to enlist again on the 10 September 1917, at the age of 19 years and 1 month. On this occasion he was accepted and assigned to the 37th Battalion.

On 22 December 1917, Private Cockcroft embarked from Melbourne aboard the Ulysses, and arrived at Southampton on Valentine’s Day, 14 February 1918. While undergoing further training in England, he was charged with the offence of being AWL (Absent Without Leave) from 11pm on 23 April to 8pm on 26 April 1918 when he was arrested by the Military Police. He had to forfeit 12 days’ pay for this offence.

On 13 May he proceeded with his unit overseas to France. He suffered a gunshot wound in his left leg on 31 August 1918, and was transferred to the Edmonton Military Hospital in England, and ultimately returned to Australia, invalided, aboard the Burmah in December 1918.

After his discharge from the AIF on 22 February 1919, Leonard resumed his career as a bank clerk. In 1936, at 38 years of age, he married Kathleen Olga Joseph and they settled in the southern Melbourne suburb of Carnegie. They had three children. The eldest, Malcolm, tragically died at the age of two. Leonard’s two daughters were Helen and Janyce.

Leonard Charles Cockcroft died on 5 August 1982, aged 84 years. He was cremated at the Springvale Crematorium, Victoria.