Appleby L.


There are 2 possible people who MAY be the Leonard Appleby named on the memorial in St. John the Evangelist Church, Lynesack and recorded as L. Appleby on Butterknowle War Memorial.

I have been contacted by the grandson of John James Appleby who believes that Leonard was John James’ older brother.  The family lived at West Fold Garth Farm, Woodland.  I have been advised of the death in 1979 of a Richard Leonard Appleby.  Therefore, of the 2 families recorded below I believe that the 2nd is more likely to be the family of the Leonard Appleby recorded on the Butterknowle commemorations.  We have been unable to trace any military records.

  1. Family Details

Richard Leonard was born 1895[1] at Copley lane, the son of Richard and Harriet Appleby.  There were at least 9 children:

  • Robert William bc.1892 at Lanehead
  • Joseph Henry bc.1894 at Lanehead
  • Richard Leonard born 1895 at Copley Lane
  • Annie Jane bc.1898 at Crake Scar, Woodland
  • James bc. 1900 at Lynesack
  • Walter bc.1901 at Lynesack
  • Mary Emma bc.1903 at Crake Scar, Woodland
  • George Alfred bc.1907 at New Shildon
  • Walter James bc.1909 at West Auckland [2]

In 1901, the family lived at Crake Scar, a terraced row of houses built around Crake Scar colliery and coke-works near Woodland.[3]  By 1911, the family lived at 6 East View, West Auckland.  2 children, James and Walter born around 1900-01 in the Parish of Lynesack & Softley were not with the family thus it is assumed that they died.  46 year old Richard worked as a coal miner (hewer), 19 year old Robert William was a coal miner (putter), 17 year old Joseph Henry was a coal miner (driver) as was 15 year old Richard Leonard.  [4]

  1. Family Details

Leonard was born c. 1895, at Eston near Middlesbrough the son of Joseph and Ada Appleby.  There were at least 7 children:[5]

  • Florence bc.1893 at Lynesack
  • Leonard bc. 1896 at Eston, Yorkshire
  • Margaret bc. 1899 at Wilton, Yorkshire
  • John James bc.1900 at Lynesack
  • Lillian bc.1905 at Copley
  • Mabel bc.1909 at Woodland
  • Frederick bc.? at Lanehead

In 1901 the family lived at High Copley and 34 year old Joseph [born in Yorkshire] worked as a coal miner.[6]  By 1911, the family lived at Lanehead, Woodland and 41 year old Joseph worked as a colliery banksman.  Leonard now 16 year old worked as a “set runner” at the colliery.[7]


Leonard Appleby, aged 24 is registered as having died in 1919 Q4.[8] His death certificate has not been researched.

Service Details

Service records of L. Appleby have not been traced despite an exhaustive search of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, Soldiers Died in the Great War and Ancestry details.  The following variations of his name have been searched:

  • Richard Leonard Appleby,
  • Leonard Richard Appleby,
  • L. Appleby,
  • R. Appleby,
  • Appleby
  • Appleby

The Roll of Honour in the Copley Institute lists a R. Appleby serving with the 4th Bn., Northumberland Fusiliers and he served abroad.  The Medal Roll record for this serviceman has not been traced.


The Butterknowle War Memorial records “L. Appleby” and the memorial plaque in St. John the Evangelist Church at Lynesack records “Leonard Appleby”.

Perhaps the illusive Leonard Appleby died from pneumonia after the war as the epidemic of “Spanish Flu” ravaged the country.  A search of Lynesack cemetery will be undertaken shortly.


[1] England & Wales Birth Index Vol10a p.233 Auckland 1895 Q4

[2] 1901 & 1911 census records

[3] 1901 census

[4] 1911 census

[5] 1901 & 1911 census

[6] 1901 census

[7] 1911 census

[8] England & Wales Death Index 1837-1915 Vol.10a p.308 Teesdale 1919 Q4


One thought on “Appleby L.

  1. Pingback: BUTTERKNOWLE | The Fallen Servicemen of Southwest County Durham

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