Lives Lived and Lives Lost - Portsmouth and the Great War

Although he was known as Reginald Leonard in all official records, his family and school knew him as Leonard Reginald, or just Leonard in the Census returns.
He was born in Valetta, Malta in 1888, son of Joseph and Annie Heath who were born in Portsmouth in 1862 and 1869 respectively. The family were probably present in Malta as there was a naval base there and Joseph who's occupation was as an engine fitter worked there. It's quite possible that Joseph and Annie were married in Malta as no trace of a marriage in the UK has been found.
Joseph was following his father Daniel when he became an engine fitter, Daniel probably having come to Portsmouth from his home town of Lewisham to ply his trade in the Dockyard. In 1881 Daniel, his wife Jane and four children were living at 41 Church Street, close to All Saints Church in Landport. Joseph was their oldest child and in the late 1880s, having completed his training he departed for Malta.

Joseph and Annie just had the one child, Leonard, in Malta as the only other one, Joseph, was born after the family had returned to live in Portsmouth, where in 1901 they were living at 94, Lincoln Road, Fratton. That same year Leonard began attending the Higher Grade School on Victoria Road North but he only stayed two years before successfully securing by competitive examination a Naval Shipwright Apprenticeship. The first four years of Leonard's apprenticeship were worked in H.M. Dockyard at Portsmouth, and then, in 1906, at the age of 18 he was passed into the Royal Navy.
At the 1911 census Leonard is recorded as staying at the house of James and Caroline Yates at 36 Avondale Road. His attendance there probably had a great deal to do with the fact they had a daughter Hilda who would marry Leonard later that year. In the summer of 1914, near the time of the commencement of the Great War, he was transferred to H.M.S. Bulwark. On this vessel he was serving as a Chief Petty Officer, 1st Class, when, as the result of a violent internal explosion, the ship was blown up at her moorings near Sheerness on 26th November, 1914. At the time of his death, Leonard Heath, who was 26 years of age, was about to take the examination to secure warrant rank. He left a wife and two children.
Further Information
The photograph above is taken from a memorial booklet published by Southern Grammar School from which extracts also appear above.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website lists Shipwright Leonard Reginald Heath, (345674), Royal Navy, HMS Bulwark, date of death, 26/11/1914, age 26, remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial (Panel 5). Son of Joseph Heath, of Portsmouth, and the late Mrs. Heaton; husband of Hilda Caroline Louisa Heath, of 4, Shakespeare Rd., Kingston, Portsmouth.
Leonard Heath is remembered on the Southern Grammar School WW1 Memorial and on the Cenotaph. He is listed in the 'National Roll of the Great War', Section X, p311.