Lance Corporal 201029 Leonard Pooler

Killed in Action on Thursday, 16th August 1917, age 26.
Commemorated on Panel 75 to 77 of Tyne Cot Memorial, Zonnebeke, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

4th Bn., Worcestershire Regiment. 88th Brigade of 29th Division.
Formerly 3109 Worcestershire Regiment.

Husband of A. Weigh (formerly Pooler), of 7, Cleton St., Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs. Son of James and Elizabeth Pooler, of 18, Cleton St., Dudley Port, Tipton.
Born: Tividale, Enlisted: Dudley, Resident: Tipton.

First landed France & Flanders, post 31st December 1915.
Medal entitlement: British War Medal, Victory Medal.
Soldier's Papers at National Archives did not survive.

Commemorated on the Tipton Library Memorial.
Commemorated here because he appears on a Tipton memorial.

Link to Commonwealth War Graves Site: www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1637160/

Genealogical Data

Birth of Leonard Pooler registered June Qtr 1891 in Dudley.

1901 Census
11 Tividale Street, Tipton, Staffs.
James Pooler (36, Stocktaker at Sheet Mills, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (34, born Tipton), and their 5 children: Leonard (10, born Tipton), Edith (8, born Tipton), Lily (6, born Tipton), James (4, born Tipton), and Elizabeth (1, born Tipton).

1911 Census
7 Court, 5 House, Dudley Port, Tipton, Staffs.
James Pooler (47, Labourer at Ironfounders, born Tipton), his wife Elizabeth (45, born Tipton), and their children Leonard (19 Labourer at Ironfounders, born Tividale), Edith (18, born Dudley Port), Lily (16, born Dudley Port), James Harold (14, born Dudley Port), Elizabeth (11, born Dudley Port), Elsie (9, born Dudley Port), Sydney (7, born Dudley Port), Victor (4, born Dudley Port), and Arthur (6 months, born Dudley Port).

Leonard's younger brother James died on 11th December 1918 in England and is buried in Tipton Cemetery.

Personal Data

In July 1917 Leonard Pooler married Annie Palmer, widow of soldier Arthur Palmer. Leonard was killed in action just a few weeks later on 16th August 1917. Mrs Pooler, as she was then, married again in 1919, and it is this new name - Weigh - which is recorded by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, strangely only against Arthur Palmer, not Leonard Pooler.

On her marriage to Leonard, Annie received a re-marriage grant of £30/18/7d (30 pounds, 18 shillings and 7 pence) to compensate for the cessation of her pension in respect of her first husband, Arthur. This grant was paid on 25th August 1917 - Leonard had already been killed on 16th August 1917.

After Leonard's death, his army pay had been overpaid by £4/7/8d (4 pounds, 7 shillings and 8 pence); his widow Annie was informed of this in January 1918 but there is no indication that there was any request to repay this overpayment. His War Gratuity was £13/10/0d (13 pounds and 10 shillings), this was paid to his widow, Annie (by now Mrs Annie Weigh), in November 1919. The value of the War Gratuity suggests that Leonard had enlisted in approximately August 1914.

Leonard's widow, Annie, received a pension of 18/9d (18 shillings and 9 pence) per week for herself and her daughter Harriet, commencing on 1st April 1918. The pension in respect of Annie ceased on her marriage to Arthur Weigh in September quarter 1919, this would also have been compensated by the payment of a re-marriage grant. The pension in respect of her daughter Harriet would have continued until Harriet's 16th birthday.

Action resulting in his death

After the partial success of the opening day of the 3rd Battle of Ypres, 31st July 1917, the next large-scale resumption of the attack was to be 16th August. The very northern flank of the British attack, to the west of Langemarck, was the responsibility of 29th Division including the 4th Worcesters. The Worcesters struggled over the Pilckem Ridge which had been devastated by British Artillery before 31st July; to lose touch with the single-file duckboards was to risk drowning in the mud. The final company of the Worcesters reached their start position for the attack - Signal Farm, on the banks of the Steenbeek, just ten minutes before zero hour.

At 4.45am the bombardment of the enemy front line began and the British battalions advanced. The 4th Worcesters followed the Newfoundlanders across the Steenbeek and uphill towards the Broembeek where German front line lay. The Worcesters took over the advance as they neared the Broembeek. Despite the knee-deep mud, the German trenches were taken without difficulty and the Worcesters began to dig in and consolidate. Intermittent machine gun and artillery fire continued throughout that day and the next (17th) before the Worcesters were relieved.

On the 16th August, the 4th Worcesters has 21 men killed including James Pooler. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

Newspaper Cuttings

Birmingham Daily Post 2nd September 1916
Losses in the overseas forces.
Worcestershire Regiment- Pooler, 3109, L., (Tipton).

Birmingham Daily Post 13th October 1917
The following casualties amongst warrant officers, non-commissioned officers, and men are reported under various dates:
Previously reported wounded, and missing, now reported killed.
Worcestershire Regiment, Pooler, 201029, L., (Tipton).