Leonard Sawyer was the son of Joseph and Sarah Sawyer of 46 Bloomfield Street, Halesowen, and a member of the Short Cross Methodist church. He enlisted in the Northamptons and was sent to the 2nd Battalion. They suffered severely in the first German Spring offensive of March 1918 and were forced into a retreat as far as Amiens. So many were lost that the remnants and reinforcements were sent to the Aisne, a quiet sector of the French line. However, the third of the German Spring offensives was about to fall on this area and the Northamptons were on the tip of the salient protecting the river and the city of Reims. The attack arrived on the morning of the 27th May and drove back the British forces for nearly 20 miles. The advance was eventually stopped and the German plan foiled but, once again, at the cost of a great number of troops. They included Private Leonard Sawyer who was killed in action on the first day of the battle. He was 28 years of age and is commemorated on the Soissons, Halesowen and Short Cross Methodist church Memorials.
ST JOHN THE BAPTIST CHURCH,High St,Halesowen,Dudley,West Midlands,B63 3BB,England, B63 3BB
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