On 25 February 1916, the Shipley Times & Express reported:Mrs Wildman, a widow of 7 Baildon Road, has received intimation that her son Rifleman Leonard Wildman has been killed.Lieut Parkin, in a letter to Mrs Wildman, says: ‘His comrades carried him to his last resting place, a little churchyard just behind the trenches, where a small cross marks the spot where one of the best and noblest of Britain’s sons rests amongst his comrades and close to his captain who was killed a few days before.‘He was shot by a sniper while nobly doing his duty early in the morning of February 6th and died without pain a few minutes later.
‘He was one of the best we had, always ready to do his duty whatever it cost him. You have the satisfaction of knowing that he died nobly, fighting for the country we are so proud of and for our loved ones at home.’Sgt Folley writes: ‘His loss was the greatest loss imaginable to us, both as a soldier and a friend. At the wish of the section we are providing a small wreath in token of our respect. This we shall place on his grave when circumstances will permit.’The deceased soldier was in the King’s Royal Rifles. He was a member of the Shipley Church Lads’ Brigade and Mrs Wildman has received a letter of sympathy
from the headquarters in London.In his letter the secretary says: ‘It will be some consolation to you to feel that he has laid down his life in order that Christianity may be preserved to us, the most glorious of all things.’Rifleman Wildman was only 21 years of age and his untimely death has come as a great shock to a wide circle of friends. He went to France at the back end of last year.Later that year, on 27 November, the newspaper reported on a well-attended memorial service held at St Peter’s Church, Woodbottom, at which Leonard’s was one of the names read out of Woodbottom men who had been killed in the war.