113093 Pte. Leonard Blake, was born in London, England on 13th January 1898, the son of James and Amelia Blake. Horace had a twin brother, 113092, Pte Horace Blake, who he served alongside in the First World War.

Both brothers emigrated with the family to Canada on 27th March 1913, traveling aboard the SS Sicilian of the Allan Line. Horace and Leonard had their main address in Peterborough, Ontario, and his brother, Horace, served in the part-time Active Militia with the 57th Peterborough Rangers. There is no record of Leonard in an active militia at the time.

Leonard's civilian career was baker by trade. In 1915, Leonard turned 18. Voluntarily enlisting on 19th August 1915, Leonard and Horace initially both attested into the 8th Canadian Mounted Rifles "B" Squadron and started their wartime service with that regiment. According to attestation papers, Leonard measured out to be 5 feet 4 inches tall.

In the divisional restructuring that followed at the end of December 1915, they were transferred into the 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles on 2nd January 1916, with whom they went into action with in Belgium. Leonard was regarded as a good soldier on his discharge record, and his service record bears no entries regarding punishments or stoppages.

Leonard and Horace served honourably with the 4th CMR as members of "A" Company. Both took part in the 'Battle of Mount Sorrel" on 2nd June 1916, the darkest day of the regiment. This would have been one of the biggest tastes of action for Leonard. His brother, Horace, survived the horrendous engagement, but, sadly, Leonard was lost at Mount Sorrel.

Listed as being missing in action on 2nd June, the record states: "For official purposes presumed to have died". Leonard lost his life while in the service of King & Country. Like many young men who served in the First World War, his body wasn't found or identified. His name is listed on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ieper (Ypres), Belgium, with his name appearing erroneously as Blake A, rather than Blake L, on memorial panel 32, tablet 32B [please see note below].

His loss was undoubtedly felt very personally by his twin brother Horace, and his parents. When thinking of Leonard, a verse from the famous poem "For the Fallen", by Laurence Binyon, comes to mind. "They went with songs to the battle, they were young, straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow. They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted; they fell with their faces to the foe.".

Leonard is remembered by his nieces and nephews, and their descendants. We will remember them.

Biography written by his great nephew, 2nd Lieutenant Jimmy H. Birtwell, Canadian Armed Forces.

"The torch be yours to hold it high."

Regarding the name error on the Menin Gate Memorial, on behalf of the family 4cmr.com submitted a change request to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on 1st May 2024, to remedy the mistake, which was duly acknowledged by the CWGC. This may take some years to action, but they are now aware of it and will attend to it in due course.