GREENSLADE, John Leonard, Corporal 362353
Royal Air Force
Died 25 October 1940
The marriage of Frederick George Greenslade to Frances Maria Charles was registered at Greenwich for the September Quarter of 1894. In 1897, whilst at the London County Asylum, Cane Hill, Frederick George Greenslade was awarded a Certificate of Proficiency in Mental Nursing. The couple's son Charles, born 1 July 1898 (baptised at Coulsdon, 15 April 1899) attended Ewell Infants School between 1st and 29th May 1905 when the family were living at Chessington Road, West Ewell but subsequently left the district. Nevertheless, a brother Frederick William came to be baptised at St Mary's Ewell on 9 July 1905 followed by John Leonard, 10 March 1907. On those occasions F. G. Greenslade's occupation was stated to be Attendant or Labourer but he seems to have achieved some prominence at Horton County of London War Hospital because he was mentioned by name in the Epsom Herald's report on 23 July 1915 regarding the burial of Private E. A.Riley
In the 1911 Census the Greenslade family comprising 5 children may be found enumerated at Stoke, Upper Court Road, Epsom, where they remained until 1925.
It appeared that John Leonard Greenslade entered the Royal Air Force between January 1921 and July 1922 as a Boy Entrant with the service number 362353. In fact he was part of the RAF Apprentice Scheme, 5th Entry to Halton, No 1 School of Technical Training, during 1922.
By 1926 the Greenslades had moved to Fredonia (later 125?) East Street Epsom
John's brother, Charles Wells Greenslade, an omnibus conductor was brought from Farnborough Hospital, Kent, for burial aged 32 in Plot K688 at Epsom Cemetery on 23 July 1930. He was followed to that grave on 26 March 1932 by their father, George Frederick Greenslade, described as Clerk steward, who had died four days earlier in the Cottage Hospital, Epsom, aged 66.
John Leonard Greenslade had completed his first period of service in the Royal Air Force by 1930 and returned to live with his family. From 1933 at the latest, however, he was resident in Horton County of London Mental Hospital having followed in his father's footsteps to become a member of staff. His marriage to Alexina Florence Richards (born Alverstoke, Hants 11 October 1909) appears registered in Surrey Mid. E. for the September Quarter of 1935. The newly-weds took up residence with the bride's parents, Robert and Florence Emily Richards, at 16 Holdenby Road, Lewisham, before the birth of their daughter Barbara D. Greenslade registered at Lewisham, 6/1936. Subsequently they moved to a marital home, 11 Oakhurst Road, West Ewell, where they were living in 1939.
During 1935 the British government had decided to expand the RAF in the face of a growing threat from Germany and a key requirement was for more trained military pilots. RAF Montrose, virtually unchanged from the First World War, was re-opened on 1 January 1936 as No.8 Flying Training School. Evidently John returned to the colours at the outbreak of hostilities in WW2, either from Reserve or as a volunteer. On 25 October 1940 three German Junkers Ju 88 aircraft dropped 24 bombs on the Angus airfield killing five, injuring 18, and destroying two hangars and the officers mess. One of the fatalities was Cpl J. L. Greenslade whose remains were returned for interment in the family grave at Epsom Cemetery, Section K. Plot 688 on 1 November 1940.
John Leonard Greenslade does not appear in the Epsom and Ewell WW2 Book of Remembrance but his name is on the Horton Hospital Roll of Honour 1939-1945 plaque in Horton Chapel.
Horton Hospital Plaque
Image courtesy of Clive Gilbert © 2014
The demise of his mother the widowed Mrs Frances M. Greenslade, aged 91, is to be found registered in Surrey Mid. E., 12/1960. His relict, Alexina F. Greenslade, survived until 2002 - death registered, dying in Hertfordshire.
Brian Bouchard, Jan 2016
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