Co-operative Stores, Hockliffe Street, 1920s [Z1432/1]
Saturday 13th January 1917: Mrs.Catherine Williamson of Church Street, Leighton Buzzard has been officially notified that her son, Private Thomas Leonard Williamson of the Bedfordshire Regiment, has been wounded for the third time. The Chaplain has written from the Front to the Vicar of Leighton Buzzard asking him to break the news to Private Williamson’s mother that her son’s leg has been amputated. The young man is his widowed mother’s only surviving son.
Before the war Leonard Williamson worked at the Co-operative Stores in Hockliffe Street as a baker and was a keen local sportsman who played for Heath United and for Leighton Buzzard Early Closers’ F.C.. He joined the Bedfordshire Regiment at the beginning of the war and was sent to France, where he received machine gun bullet wounds in his chest. After recovering from his injuries he returned to the Front where he was shot in the leg. On this occasion he was not sent back to England, but recovered at the base hospital and returned to duty for about a month before receiving a severe shrapnel wound which has cost him his leg. In his last letter to his mother he told her “I have had a very happy Christmas”.
Source: Leighton Buzzard Observer, 9th January 1917