CWG: Deck Hand Leonard Tucker

Deck Hand Leonard Tucker

Leonard Francis Tucker was born in 1898, the middle of three children to Arthur and Frances Tucker. Arthur was a tailor from Taunton, Somerset, and this is where he brought his young family up.

Sadly, little documentation remains of Leonard’s life. His grave confirms that, when war came, he served in the Royal Navy, and, at the time of his death, he was a Deck Hand on HMS Vivid.

His Commonwealth War Graves Records confirm that his parents were living in Melbourne – his pension ledger confirms Arthur as his next of kin, with an Australian address. There is nothing to confirm their emigration, or whether Leonard emigrated as well.

Leonard’s young life is summed up in a short notice in the local newspaper, which has the simple comment “Tucker – Sept. 28th, at 10 Westgate-street, Taunton, Leonard Francis Tucker, aged 20.” [Taunton Courier and Western Advertiser: Wednesday 9th October 1918]

Slightly more confusing is the next name on that list: “Tucker – Sept. 29, at 10 Westgate-street, Taunton, Frances Ellen Tucker, aged 44.” It would seem that Leonard’s mother was in England, not Australia, at the time of his death, and that she passed away a day after him.

Combined with when Leonard died, it would suggest both he and his mother died from one of the respiratory conditions running rampant through England at the time, possibly influenza or pneumonia. There is nothing to confirm this outright, but it seems the likeliest outcome for the poor mother and son.

Leonard Francis Tucker lies at rest in St Mary’s Cemetery in his home town of Taunton.

As an aside to this, there is no record of where Frances was buried, but it is likely that she too was laid to rest in St Mary’s Cemetery.

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