1142066 Lance Bombardier Leonard Herbert Hing, Royal Artillery
Born 27th August 1920 in Little Gaddesden
Died of wounds 23rd September 1944 in the Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
Leonard (Len) was the elder son of Lewis Hing and Annie Elizabeth née Smith of 17 Little Gaddesden. His father was a chauffeur who ran a transport service from the Bridgewater Arms Hotel, first by horse drawn waggon and later by car. Leonard’s younger brother Edward Lewis Hing was born in 1926.
Len attended Little Gaddesden School, which at that time took pupils up to the school leaving age of 14. Aged nearly 10, he has been identified on this 1930 photo from the School Archive:
He is standing on the left hand side just behind the boy sitting on the chair. He is wearing a light jacket and has his hands behind his back. The boy behind him is his cousin Ray.
In May 1940, 19 year old Len volunteered for the Home Guard, first known as the Local Defence Force. He is named on P.C. Parker’s hand-written list as a Telephone Messenger based at Headquarters, i.e. the Armoury, behind No 27 Little Gaddesden. His uncle Joe Hing and cousin Raymond Hing also served in the Home Guard. The following year he attested for the Royal Artillery in 1941, his name written in the attestation book as Leonard Hubert Hing. He was then called up in 1942, did his training at Shoeburyness and went to France two days after D Day. He served in Normandy in 59 (6th Bn. the Hampshire Regiment) Anti-Tank Regiment, Royal Artillery which was part of the 43rd (Wessex) Infantry Division.
Wounded in Action 5
On 1st August 1944 Len received a gunshot wound to the head following which he was evacuated to England and sent to the Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. A Little Gaddesden School Log Book entry for 1946 makes clear that he had been wounded at Caen.
Len was reported wounded on Casualty List No. 1531 (Soldiers and Auxiliaries) which named the Casualties reported to the War Office Casualty Branch for the 24hrs ending at 9am on 22nd August 1944: His entry reads: “Royal Artillery/ 1142066 Hing U/A/L/Bdr L.H. 59 A. Tk. Regt 1.8.44”
Death and Burial 6
On 23rd September 1944, Lance Bombadier Leonard Hing died of wounds in the Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford. On 27th September he was buried in Little Gaddesden, the service conducted by the Rector, the Revd. Charles Edward Wager. Leonard was aged 24 and his address given as Little Gaddesden. In the Burial Register his second Christian name is recorded as Henry.
Leonard’s Grave and CWGC Headstone 7
Leonard’s grave is in the old churchyard N.E. of the church. The inscription on his headstone reads:
1142066 L. Bdr
23rd September 1944 Age 24.
Below the engraved cross and Royal Artillery badge are the words:
Peace perfect peace
With loved ones far away?
In Jesus keeping
We are safe and they.
We will remember them
Leonard Hing is commemorated on the Little Gaddesden War Memorials on the village green and in St Peter & St Paul’s Church. On his CWGC Debt of Honour entry, Leonard is recorded as “Son of Lewis and Annie Elizabeth Hing of Berkhamsted”. It is believed that Berkhamsted was named as the nearest town, as Lewis and Annie continued to live at 17 Little Gaddesden.
1. Little Gaddesden Baptism Register 1813 – 1947
2. Leonhardt, John (ed), 2002, A Century Remembered – a celebration of the Millennium in Little Gaddesden, Rural Heritage Society of Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Ashridge, p295
4. Leonhardt, John (ed), 2002, A Century Remembered – a celebration of the Millennium in Little Gaddesden, Rural Heritage Society of Little Gaddesden, Ringshall and Ashridge, p72
6. Little Gaddesden Burial Register 1813 – 1980
8. Police Constable Parker’s list of Little Gaddesden’s Local Defence Volunteers, compiled in May 1940
Research, text and (unless otherwise credited) photos: Jane Dickson