War memorial project
Sergeant Leonard Rampton
Leonard George Rampton was born on 22 February 1886 at Tadley.
His parents were George and Edith Annie Rampton (née Lambert).
He was the eldest son of seven children, one of whom died: Elsie Ellen, Leonard George, Harry Edward, Adelaide Annie, Florence May, Evelyn Nellie and Archie Edwin.
In the 1901 Tadley census, aged 15 years, he was living with his parents in the white cottage in the lane variously known as Rampton’s, Back or Old Lane. His occupation was listed as an ‘Indoor Servant’, possibly at Heath End House, opposite the lane. In the 1911 census, aged 25 years, he was living at Herriard Park, Basingstoke. His occupation was listed as ‘Head Groom’ and he was lodging with other employees at the Park.
Leonard was unmarried.
Leonard served as a Corporal and Acting Sergeant (Service number: 337) in the 9th Cyclist Battalion of the Hampshire Regiment.
The Cyclist Battalion was established to facilitate rapid and cheap communication over tracks and difficult terrain in the field of action. It was definitely for keen cyclists only. The Hampshire Battalion carried out training on Salisbury Plain, carrying .303 rifles.
According to the Army Medical Board, it was as a result of exceptional hardship and exposure during troop training that caused Leonard to contract rheumatic fever in November 1914.
Leonard was discharged from the army as being “no longer physically fit for war service” following a number of medical problems including rheumatic fever, appendicitis and finally a valvular disease of the heart. He was discharged from the army on 26 December 1915 having served in locations in the United Kingdom.
On leaving the army he returned to Herriard Park where he remained until his death. At his funeral the eulogy described him as of a steady disposition and highly spoken of by all. Despite his illness he was always cheerful. He had been a respected member of the choir at Herriard for some years.
Leonard died at Hurst Farm, Herriard, Basingstoke on Wednesday 27 February 1918, aged 32.
Leonard is buried at St Peter’s Church, Tadley. Although he did not die in army service and he does not have a Commonwealth War Graves Commission obituary, his name appears on both Tadley and Baughurst war memorials.
No record of Leonard having received any medals has been found.
TADS World War I Memorial Exhibition is available for loan to interested bodies (eg, schools, Remembrance events etc). Copies of individual's sheets may be purchased from Profile Print & Copy (see for further details)
Page updated: Saturday 2 May 2015; review date: 1 June 2015.