Captain Leopold Reginald HARGREAVES MC
Date of birth: 8 January 1883
Date of death: 25 September 1916
Killed in action aged 33
Buried at Guillemont Road Cemetery plot I C 4
Leopold Reginald was born at Cuffnells, Lyndhurst, the middle son of Reginald Gervis Hargreaves who had inherited in 1872, the Cuffnells estate from his parents, and Alice Liddell, one of the daughters of the Very Reverend Henry Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, and the “Alice” of “Alice in Wonderland.
Before Alice married she had a flourishing romance with Queen Victoria’s son, Leopold. The affair was rapidly squashed by their mothers, but in due course each named a child after the other.
Leopold (and his older brother Alan) were educated at Summer Field’s (1892), and at Eton. In the 1901 census he was living on Keats Lane with other Eton students in the House of Arthur Stringer, and went up to Christ Church later that year.
After matriculation he spent some time in Canada in business, returning to England at the outbreak of war.
Leopold joined up on 15 August 1914, and was gazetted Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion Irish Guards on 23 December. He was at the Front in France from November 1914 until the following November when he was invalided home.
Leopold returned to France in August 1916 and died of wounds received at the action at Les Boeufs on 25 September. He was captaining a company in the Irish Guards when they eventually took Lesboeufs on 25 September. Much has been written about the Guards Regiments in this part of the conflict and it all points to them being the crack force that they were supposed to be. They were set a mountainous task but did not flinch in doing their duty.
On 14 November 1916, he was awarded the Military Cross “For conspicuous gallantry in action. He set a fine example of coolness and courage at a somewhat critical period and, personally, took forward and established a covering party.”
With his brother Alan, killed in action on 9 May 1915 aged 33, he is commemorated on the Memorial at St Michael and All Angels, Lyndhurst. There is a wall plaque in the church in memory of their parents and their other brother, Caryl.
Probate was granted to his father on 23 December 1916. He left £6440-14s-8d.
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