|Son of Thomas & Mary Cockings (later Mrs. Young)
Aged 21 years
Died 31st May 1917
Commemorated on the Arras Memorial
|The Rushden Echo Friday 15 June 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier - Private Leonard Cockings - Wymington Man's Narrow Escape
Mrs Thomas Cockings, of 1 Dell-place, Rushden, has received news indirectly that her youngest son, Private Leonard Cockings, of the Dublin Fusiliers to which regiment he was transferred from the Northants Regt, has been killed in action.
The sad news is sent by Lance-Corpl G W Furness, of the same regiment, in a letter to his mother, who resides at New Wymington. Up to the present Mrs Cockings has, we are told, received no further particulars, and would be grateful for any further news any of her son's comrades can send her.
The deceased soldier, who enlisted in August, 1915, was 21 years of age, and fought through the Dardanelles campaign. Although up to the day of which he was killed he had received no wounds, he had three times had dysentery and had twice been home on sick furlong, the last time he was in Rushden being in February this year.
Prior to enlistment he was employed by Messrs. Denton & Sons, boot manufacturers, Rushden. Mrs Cockings has three other sons serving their country, viz., Trooper Wm. Cockings, of the Yeomanry, who is in France, Pte Wallis Cockings, of the Northants Regt., who is in Palestine, and George Cockings, formerly of the Notts and Derby Regt., who has been twice wounded, and is now engaged on munitions.
Lance-Corpl Furness's letter is written under date June 17th, as follows: "We had just got relieved from the line when I got it. We had twelve days' stay this time. Poor 'Dick' Cockings got killed, and I got buried also. Thank God, I got through all right, but when I say young Cockings get killed it fairly upset me. Tell one of the girls to break the news to his mother, and tell her they are sending his things home. I should have sent, but I don't know the address, but if your send it I will write a letter to her, for 'Dick' and I were together all the time and I was only four yards away when he was killed, with two others, so that you can see I had a very narrow escape."
|The Rushden Echo Friday 22 June 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier's Fate Lce-Corpl Leonard Cockings Killed in Action
Mrs Cockings, of 1 Dell-place, Park-road, Rushden, has now received official news that her son, Lance-Corpl Leonard Charles Cockings, - Northants Regt., attached to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was killed in action on May 31st, whilst serving with the British Expeditionary Force in France. She has also received the following letter from Lance-Corpl GW Furness of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers:
"I regret to have to say that your son, Leonard, got killed in action on May 31 st. There were four of us together, and three got killed. I was the only one that escaped but I was buried and bruised about the back, but not caring about my own troubles I inquired about poor Leonard. I said to the men, 'Is my pal all right?' and they said they did not know, but as soon as morning came I was told that he was dead and that fairly upset me, for we were jolly good pals together, and Leonard was liked by the chaps at Headquarters. I was looking for Bill when we came out of the trenches, but I could not find him, so I expect he has been shifted. I send my deepest sympathy to you and hope that you will bear this sad news as best you can, for your son Leonard died bravely for his King and country, and I believe he was buried decently in a graveyard down the lane."
A brother of the deceased, Lance Corpl Wallace Cockings is with the Northamptons in Palestine, and Pte Sidney Austin, a brother-in-law is with the same battalion.
|The Rushden Echo Friday 29 June 1917, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier's Fate Lance-Corporal Cockings "A Fine, Brave Young soldier"
Mrs Cockings, of 1, Dell-place, Rushden, has received from Second-Lieut D P Wagner, the following letter regarding her son, the late Lance-Corpl Leonard Charles Cockings, Northants Regt., attached Dublin Fusiliers, whose death we reported last week:-
"Dear Mrs Cockings, -I regret that I have been unable to obtain your address until today, when, on returning to the Battalion after a course of instruction, I received it from Lance-Corpl Furness, because I was very anxious to write you at once after the tragic event of your son's death in action, in order to tell you how deeply I sympathise with you.
"Lance-Corpl Cockings was with me for only a month, having transferred to the observers from the transport because he was exactly the trustworthy and intelligent soldier that was required for the work. During that short time, both in and out of the line, I found him not only a most excellent non-commissioned officer, but a lad whose respect I valued highly and whose death came to me as a personal loss. That is why I beg you to accept my very deepest and heartfelt sympathy.
"The night of his death our part of the line was being fairly heavily bombarded and when I returned from the other end of the company with whom I was doing duty, word was brought to me that your son and three others were dead. These things happen very quickly, and I do not believe he suffered. His body rests in a little cemetery behind the lines.
"We had gone up the line so often together during that tour of the trenches, and had shared risks so much together that I shall always feel the Battalion has lost a fine, brave young soldier, and I a trusty friend. - Believe me, yours very sincerely, D P Wagner, Second-Lieut.