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Waghorn, Leonard Pengelly

We hear with great sorrow that Second Lieutenant L. P. Waghorn, aged 24, was killed in action on November 6th.  He was educated at Marlborough. He matriculated into London University in June 1909, and entered Guy’s in the following October. He passed the 1st M.B. in July 1911, and the Second Conjoint Examination in October, 1913. He belonged to the Inns of Court O.T. Squadron, and on the outbreak of war, at his 4th year of medical training at Guy’s Hospital, he volunteered for service at the front. He was gazetted to the Royal West Kent Regiment, and from there to the Royal Berkshire Regiment. He had only joined that regiment a few days when he was killed in action on November 6th, He was the second son of Engineer-Captain W. Waghorn, R.N., formerly Professor of Physics at the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. The Times November 17th 1914.

Dr. J. W. Waghorn writes:- Let me, in the first place, thank you for your letter and your kind and sympathetic appreciation of Leonard’s friendship with yourself and his other hospital friends. As regards any facts of his life: he was in his 24th year; he was educated at Morton and Vickers’ private school in Englefield Green (Morton was the well known ‘varsity bowler and much attached to Leonard). His entry and work at Guy’s you know better than I do, probably. He was in the Inns of Court Officers’ Training Squadron, and had been promoted to Lance-Corporal. At the outbreak of war he volunteered for service at the front, but was anxious, if possible, to get into the R.A.M.C. , and consequently did not avail himself of the opportunities he had of being appointed to some Yeomanry Corp. and perhaps on that account was appointed, to his surprise, to an infantry regiment. The 3rd Battalion (Reserve) of the Royal West Kent Regiment (Queens Own). Although he was unacquainted with infantry drill and duties, he soon made himself an efficient officer at Chatham, and earned the esteem of the Commanding Officer.

He was attached to the Royal Berkshires at the commencement of October, left for France on October 3rd, was employed on some work near the fighting line in which he had frequent occasions to use his medical training, but where and what the work was he never told us.. 

On the 3rd November he joined the Berkshires in the fighting line, and was killed outside his “dugout” instantaneously by a splinter of a shell on November 6th.  In the last letter we had from him written on the 28th October, he says:- “It is quite impossible to realise what war means until one sees it; then one sees and hears of such magnificent things being done that they make uip for the awful horrors. One thing that no civilian will realise is the absolute and superb magnificence of the British soldier out here. The things that have been done, I am quite certain, have never been surpassed in military history.”

The Adjutant of the Berkshires writes me: “He had only been with us three days and we all liked him immensely, and at once knew that he was the right sort of fellow to make a good officer.”
Second-Lieut. Stokes, who went with Leonard from the West Kent to the Berkshires, but who for some reason was in the fighting line earlier, writes me: “The little time he was spared to us he did awfully well, and you will not be surprised to hear how much he was liked by us all.

1st Berkshire Regiment, British Expeditionary Force, October 28th, 1914
Hope the old Hospital is going on A1. I have been attached to the above regiment. It is pouring with rain, but, thank goodness, I have some tobacco; it is a comfort these days, but everyone is awfully cheerful.  L. P. Waghorn.

Leonard Waghorn entered Guy’s in October, 1909, as a London University Student, and I first met him in the Practical Bilogy Classroom. We had from the beginning a common bond in coming from the same school – Marlborough. I happened to keep in close touch with him during the whole of his life at Guy’s, in the Dissecting Room and the Wards, and he was one of my dressers from April to June of the present year. This was the last appointment he completed for in August he volunteered for service while holding the appointment of Senior Medical Ward Clerk. I had a letter from him in September, when he was stationed at Chatham, in which he regretted his inability to joint the R.A.M.C., and the post card written on October 28th, which is printed above. As a student he showed considerable prmise, particularly sine heentered the wards. He worked hard always doing his full share of the more tedious work inevitable in each appointment. He had skilful hands, and promised to turn out a neat and deft operator. All his teachers thought highly of him and appreciated him.

With his bright sunny disposition, his frank, open face, he was a most lovable man, and one who was deservedly popular with all whom he had any dealings with In him Guy’s has lost one of her sons whom she could ill spare. It was with great grief that those of us, who loved him, read the announcement that he had been killed in action. But with our grief was mingled a feeling of pride that he had died glorious death of a soldier fighting for his King and Country in a righteous cause. E. C. Hughes, Guy’s Hospital Gazette 19 Dec. 1914 and Guy’s Hospital Reports Vol LXX, War Memorial Number 

Biographical

Surname(s)Waghorn
First name(s)Leonard Pengelly
Date of birth1891
Place of birthGreenwich Registration District
Family details

Son of Dr. J.W. Waghorn

Previous educationMorton & Vickers School, Englefield Green; Reading School; Marlborough
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1909-1914
Dept / courseLondon M.B.
Qualifications

1st M.B. July 1911, Second Conjoint Oct. 1913

Military unitQueen's Own (Royal West Kent Regt), 3rd Bn.; Royal Berkshire Regt
Date enlistedAugust 1914
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Date of death06/11/1914
Age at death23
Rank at deathSecond Lieutenant
Cause of deathKilled in action
Commemoration(s)Guy's Hospital Memorial; Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial
Sources

Guy’s Hospital Archives at King’s College; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; FreeBMD, The Times

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