Leonard Charles Brind

Leonard Charles Brind (my Grandad, born December 1896) was a gifted musician and secretary/ agent for Norwood Labour Party. He was the apple of his mother's eye. A cigarette smoker (roll ups), his fingers were always yellowed with nicotine. His health also suffered when he was captured by the Germans during the First World War and was placed in a Prisoner of War Camp. According to family legend he was captured in the latrines, but I think this was his joke. My guess is he was captured in our near Loos.
See also Grandfathers' War.

35 Herne Hill Road pictured by Google Earth (screen grab taken in December 2017).
From the records of the International Committee of the Red Cross. See https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/List/3389373/698/32443/
From the records of the International Committee of the Red Cross. See https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/File/Details/3389373/3/2/
See also report from Prisoner of War Camp.

Leonard Charles was awarded several medals, "For voluntary service overseas 1914-19, territorial war medal", which is inscribed "1823 Priv L C Brind 8 London R", and "Great War for Civilisation, 1914-19" "1823 Cpl L C Brind 8/London. R". These were the usual campaign medals. More telling is a silver medal inscribed: "174th Inf Bde, Scouts Race, Lance Cpl L C Brind 2/8 London. Regt." This race happened in August 1917. A second copper or bronze medal says "174th Inf. Bde Cross Country Sutton Veny 1916".

Som L I (Somerset Light Infantry?) Pte 265057

Leonard C
CorpsRank*Regt. No.
8 London R (Regiment?)Cpl1823
---do--- 370324
Sutton Veny is close to Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire, an area well known as a military training ground. Nan once told me he had been stationed in Ipswich for a while. Presumably he trained in Wiltshire, went on to Ipswich and got the silver race medal in France. Appendix 5 contains part of a book about the Post Office Rifles in the First World War.
Main index Appendix 5


Probably the only photo still in existence of Leonard Charles Brind. It was evidently taken during the First World War. The locket contained pictures of Leonard and his brother Jack and was probably given to their mother. No doubt she wore it throughout the war. Prior to her death at the age of 109 nan (Hilda Brind) sometimes called my brother Christopher, Len. He evidently looks very similar.

Grandfather's medal box contains an award for being "present on parade, Church Lad's Brigade Royal Review Lambeth Conference, June 27, 1908." This event must be recorded in the local press. The box also has a Buffaloes seal stamp (horns), a Buffaloes apron, and Buffaloes medals. The Buffs apparently used the Latin tag Nemo Mortalium Omnibus Horis Sapit (which means No man is wise at all times). Leonard Charles was invested as Primo of the Loyal Cambria Lodge (the Mother Lodge of the World) on 18th August 1924 and got an RAOB (Royal Ancient Order of Buffaloes) Council medal for "Services rendered as secretary in January 1927, presumably when he gave up the post. I think the Buffs was not as Masonic as it sounds from all this. Its main function was providing health care insurance. Victor Brind described the Buffs as a drinking society, and no doubt there is something in this. Nan and Grandfather went to a Buffaloes dance. The Buffs still exist and once when I was in South Wales I saw a Buffs badge on a car.

Leonard Charles was a Civil Servant working for the Post Office. Colleagues called him LC. Members of the family called him Len. He died of a secondary infection, spinal meningitis Nan says, in May 1937 at the age of 40, when taken to hospital for peritonitis.