Leonard was born in 1893 in Bradford, the son of letterpress printer George Varley and his wife Mary, nee Hodgson.The Shipley Times & Express reports of his war service also give detail of a promising career cut short.Mr Leonard Varley, only son of Mr and Mrs George Varley of 44 Leyburn Grove, Shipley, has recently been made a Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion Duke of Wellington’s Regt and is now on active service.
He was a member of the Officers’ Training Corps at Trinity College, Cambridge, and soon after war was declared joined the Duke of Wellington’s Regt as a second lieutenant.22 October 1915Like so many of the young men thrust into an officer’s role without much experience, Leonard was killed in action shortly after his promotionLieut Leonard Varley was killed in action on the Western Front on 11
November. He was 22 years old.Capt S F Marriner sent the news to Mr George Varley, at 44 Leyburn Grove, Shipley that his son had been picked off by a sniper.‘At the time he was in charge of the machine gunners and had been round the gun teams accompanied by his sergeant who was with him when he was hit.‘He was buried in the military cemetery behind the lines, close to where two other officers of the battalion have been laid.’Lieut Varley had been a pupil of
Belle Vue School, Bradford where he was awarded the Holden scholarship which enabled him to study at Trinity College Cambridge from where he emerged with a B.A. with honours. He was also a member of the Officer Training Corps at university.Six weeks before the outbreak of war he was appointed language master at the Masonic College, Bushey, near London but promptly gave up that post to enlist when war was declared.19 November 1915