Sergeant

Edward LEONARD

YEAR OF DEATH

1869

JURISDICTION

Victoria

DETAILS OF DEATH

Sergeant 1st Class Edward Leonard, Register Number 691, died on the 19th of August 1869. He was stationed at Geelong at the time of his death. His death certificate shows his death was the result of double pneumonia from which he suffered for “about 1 week”. Last date of work 14th August 1869. His personnel record, known as his ‘Record of Conduct and Service’, includes a handwritten entry completed by the Inspecting Superintendent (at that time the Deputy to the Chief Commissioner) which states “He died I believe of double pneumonia brought on by exposure whilst on night duty.” An article about Sergeant Leonard’s death appeared in the Geelong Advertiser of Friday 20 August 1869. It reads “The Sergeant caught a violent cold on last Saturday and was seized with a fit of violent shivering. On returning home he at once went to bed and has never been out since, inflammation of the lungs setting in at once. Doctor Reid has been in regular attendance but the disease has been so violent that he succumbed to its ravages”. When Sergeant Leonard’s wife subsequently applied to Chief Commissioner Standish for a gratuity (latter dated 3 September 1869) she gave a more detailed explanation of what had occurred. “My husband took ill on night duty but he thought as he was about going on day duty the sickness would wear off and he subsequently continued to perform duty for some days after, but unfortunatley he was compelled to give up and place himslef under the care of Dr Reid. He continued to get worse until he died; cut off in the prime of life leaving me with three helpless children (the eldest but 7 years old) with a slight exception un-provided for and heavy in debt. It is well known to you sir that he served over 16 years in the force without a stain on his character and his efficiency is also known to yourself, as well as to the other gentlemen under whom he served.”

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