Leo Redver Ryan was born in Aldershot, Hants in 1899, son of military tailor Ignatius (who was known as Frederick, for obvious reasons) & Ada Robbins. Frederick's father was also a military tailor who had moved his family from Ireland to England in the early 1870's.
Frederick and family were living in Windsor at the time of the 1911 census, after he left school Leo trained to be an electrician, as did his brother Francis. Leo joined the Navy at Portsmouth in September 1917, where he trained on HMS Victory, then served on various ships including HMS Vernon, HMS Carlisle, as a Wire Man II. Below is a photo of one of the ships he served on and a copy of his service record.
He was discharged from the Navy in March 1919. He met a girl from Clewer, Ada Merkett and in 1921 they married and settled in Marlow, where Leo opened an electrical shop in the High Street.
When he wasn't working Leo enjoyed nothing more than a game of cricket playing for both Little Marlow and Marlow Working Men's Club's, he was also a member of Marlow Football Club and Berkshire Ramblers. Leo can be seen in this picture taken in 1936, seated third from the left in the front row, horror movie actor Boris Karlfoff is seated next but one to Leo, holding a pipe.
By the time World War II broke out Leo and Ada, had three children, a girl Googie and boys Warren and Patrick. Leo joined the Marlow Detachment of the Home Guard. In September 1940 at the height of the Battle of Britain, a German bomber jettisoned its bombs over Marlow, Leo and son Patrick were walking in Chalk Pit Lane, at the time, Leo pushed Patrick into a doorway and used his body to protect his son, Leo was killed by flying glass and Patrick was injured. Leo is remembered on the Commonwealth War Grave Commission website where he is listed as a civilian. His death certificate gave his cause of death as “due to war operations”, and The Bucks Free Press reported Leo’s death, but not that he was killed by a German bomb, see report below.
At the time of Leo's death Ada was five months pregnant, Leo's second daughter Carole was born in January 1941, she never knew her father. Years later a road in Marlow was named Ryans Mount in his memory.