Saturday, 13 February 2016

Leonard Fordham Ivall (1912-91), Architectural Consultant

Leonard was my second cousin, once removed. He was, like me, descended from David Ivall (1816-67), a journeyman coachmaker.

Leonard Fordham Ivall was born on August 14th 1912 in Hampstead. He was the third of four children (2 girls and 2 boys) of William Charles Ivall (1883-1968), an accountant, and his wife Florence Bessie nee Endean (1885-1960). Fordham was the maiden name of Leonard’s paternal grandmother Matilda (1858-1921).

The 1911 census shows Leonard’s parents at 87 Constantine Road, Hampstead. Electoral registers from 1918 to 1925 list their address as “Newlyn”, Hampton Road, Buckhurst Hill, which is in NE London, near Chingford. In 1926 the family moved to "Hampton House", Hampton Road. In 1930 and 1931, their address is given as 71 Hampton Road, Chingford.

Leonard’s mother came from a Cornish family and so he often visited Cornwall for holidays. In 1937 Leonard married Ivy Dorothy Scott in Truro. He was aged 25, she was 21, born in Plymouth. They had a son in 1938. The 1939 national register shows Leonard, an architect and land surveyor, and Ivy living at 15 Trevellance Way, Watford. Leonard practiced as an architect but he never qualified; it would perhaps be more correct to describe him as an architectural consultant. One of his first commissions was for a bungalow in St Agnes, Cornwall, for his parents - they moved to it after his father’s retirement.

The following info about Leonard's war service comes from a nephew of his
"He joined up in November 1939 and served in the North Somerset Yeomanry.  Surprisingly, that was still a cavalry unit at that time:  they sailed to Palestine in Feb. 1940 and served mounted in the Syrian campaign during 1941, losing ten men at the battle of Maza Ridge (information from the Light Infantry office at Taunton).  However there was an acute shortage of signal personnel in the Middle East theatre and the whole of the N.S.Y. was amalgamated with a Royal Signals unit in July 1942.  They must have served with the Eighth Army in the North Africa campaign, as Len was awarded the Africa Star with Eighth Army emblem.  He appears to have returned to the UK in August 1943, as there is disembarkation leave recorded in his paybook, and his unit was apparently moved to Europe in November 1944 (after embarkation leave), as he was also awarded the France and Germany Star. I have his medals (as above, plus 1939-45 Star, Defence medal and Victory Medal) and his paybook."

 Leonard during World War 2.

Leonard’s marriage ended in divorce soon after the war ended and he moved to the Moray District in NE Scotland. He married Jemima Paterson nee Green (born 1912), known as “Mina”. She was a widow with three young children. 

Telephone directories show Leonard running a business supplying materials to artists at 23 South Street, Elgin in 1949. He is shown as an architect at 23 Grant Street, Cullen from 1955 to 1960, an architectural consultant at 4 Seafield Street, Cullen from 1961 to 1963 and at 8 Batchen Street, Elgin from 1964 to 1972. His residence from 1955 to 1972 was Culoran, Stotfield, Lossiemouth. 

Leonard later became a trout farmer. The following item was published in a national newspaper in 1978.
In 1984, Leonard had “Carousel”, a book of poems, illustrated by his brother Dennis, published.
The poems are mostly humourous. An example of a short one from the book is:

My neighbour’s grass is always green,
With not a daisy to be seen,
No clover patch, no chicken weed,
No dandelion, gone to seed.
It’s neat and trim and nicely mown,
With no bare patches to be sown,
In fact, it’s what a lawn should be
For sitting on and taking tea.
My garden lawn, I must confess,
Is not like that, it’s just a mess.

Leonard died on 21 August 1991 in Elgin aged 79. His wife Mina died in 2002. They are buried together in Elgin Cemetery.
Leonard's grave

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