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Leonard Montague Greenwood (1893-1918)

Surrey man died in command of 13th DLI awarded DSO

Leonard Montague Greenwood, the son of the Reverend Thomas and Harriet Greenwood, was born in Catford, Kent on 12 June 1893. He had four brothers and a sister and lived in Streatham until he enlisted in the Public School’s Brigade of the Royal Fusiliers at the outbreak of war. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the 13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry on 5 January 1915 and landed in France on 25 August. In August 1916 he was promoted to lieutenant and was mentioned in despatches. He was appointed acting captain from November 1916 until January 1917. The following month he was appointed temporary captain and later won the Military Cross (MC). In November 1917 he went to Italy with the Battalion, returning to France in September 1918. While in Italy he was appointed temporary Major and took temporary command of the battalion from 16 March to 16 April. In October he again took command of the Battalion after the C.O. , Lt. Col. Clarke, was badly wounded in the attack near Beaurevoir, but was gassed at Le Cateau on 10 October. He died of pneumonia a week later and was buried in the St Sever Cemetery at Rouen. At the beginning of 1919 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order, a Bar to the Military Cross, and again mentioned in dispatches, posthumously.

His award of the D.S.O. was gazetted on 1 January 1919, no citation is available.

The citation to the Bar to his MC reads:

“Temporary Captain (now temporary Major) Leonard Montague Greenwood, M.C., 13th Battalion, Durham Light Infantry displayed great gallantry and devotion to duty during the operations 7th to 11th October, 1918. His commanding officer having been wounded on 5th October, he assumed command of the battalion. Before Le Cateau, on 9th/10th October, when his battalion had suffered very heavy casualties, he continually walked round the line under very heavy machine-gun and artillery fire encouraging his men and reorganising. In the attack on St. Benin, on 10th October, he personally led his battalion, capturing all objectives.”

Citations to his other decorations have not been found.

Birth date: 12-Jun-1893

Death date: 17-Oct-1918

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 182 Bedford Hill, Streatham, Surrey (1901 Census)
White Lodge, Streatham Common, Surrey (1911 Census)

Education: Dulwich College

Employment: Honorary Clerk, Public Accountant (1911 Census)

Family: Father: Rev. Thomas Greenwood
Mother: Harriet Greenwood (nee Summersell)
Siblings: Thomas, Herbert Summersaell, Harry Dudley, Winifred Patience & John Eric Greenwood

Military service:

13th Battalion Durham Light Infantry

Medal(s): Distinguished Service Order
Military Cross & Bar
Mentioned in Despatches (2)
1914-1915 Star
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Memorial(s): Durham Cathedral DLI 1914-1918 Book of Remembrance
Leonard Memorial Hall, Norbury, Croydon, Surrey
St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen, France

Gender: Male

Contributed by John Edwards |

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