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Leonard Cobbett

Lance Corporal Leonard Cobbett, 316742, Corps of Military Police, 8th Armoured Division

Leonard Cobbett was born on the 22nd June 1910 in Ossett, the son of scaffolder Walter Cobbett (1886-1956) and his wife Emily, nee Gregson (1884-1961) who married in the Dewsbury Registration District in late 1907. Walter Cobbett was born in Sandholme, near Gilberdyke in East Yorkshire. Walter Cobbett's father was a railway signalman and the family had moved to live in Horbury sometime in the mid 1890s. Emily Gregson was born in Ossett and lived in Victoria Street.

Leonard was the second son of Walter and Emily Cobbett. He had an elder brother Harry, born in Ossett in 1908; a sister Esme Osgood, born in 1911 in Ossett and a younger brother Donald, born in 1916 in Ossett. In the 1911 census, the Cobbett family were living at 1, Clarenden Cottages, Horbury Road, Ossett with Emily Cobbett's mother 68 year-old Mary Gregosn and unmarried elder sister, 44 year-old Martha Jane Gregson.

Leonard Cobbett married Vera Robinson in the summer of 1937 and the couple lived at Glen View Cottage, Peel Street, Horbury next door to Leonard's parents. Leonard Cobbett worked as a postman in the Ossett Sorting Office before joining the Army at the start of WW2. There were no children to the marriage and after Leonard's death in 1941, Vera remarried Horace Jones in late 1946 in Horbury.

Leonard Cobbett first joined the Royal Armoured Corps, Lancers: Cavalry of Line, but transferred to the Corps of Military Police. At the beginning of the Second World War, the CMP had several branches:

By the end of the war the Red Caps had replaced the Blue and White Caps. The RMP provided support to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France and these units were also involved in Operation Dynamo.

Military Policeman on motorbike during WW2

Above: Military Policeman on a BSA motorbike during WW2.

Lance Corporal Leonard Cobbett died whilst on duty at the age of 31 years in a motor cycle accident in Surrey on the 30th July 1941 and was buried on the 4th August 1941 at Plot G451 in Horbury Cemetery.

Cobbett Accident Report

Above: the Surrey Mirror and County Post carried the report of the accident that resulted in the death of Lance-Corporal Cobbett on 8th August 1941.

CWGC gravestone for Leonard Cobbett

Above: Lance Corporal Leonard Cobbett's CWGC gravestone at Horbury Cemetery.


1. Commonwealth War Graves Commission web site

2. ancestry.co.uk