Ajax Veterans Street Dedication: Pittmann Crescent
- Media Type:
- Street Name: Pittmann Crescent
Name of Veteran: Leonard Henry Pittman Nov. 1, 1914-Nov. 3, 2007
Rank: Gunner, Able Seaman
Ship Served: HMS Ajax
Date of Service on Ship: 1939
Year of Visit/Dedication:
Veteran or Family Visit:
Veteran of the Battle of the River Plate: Yes
Died at Battle: No
Leonard Henry Pittman was born on November 1, 1914 in East London, U.K. He grew up in Canning Town, East London with his siblings; Frank, Florrie, Gladys, Billy and John.
Leonard joined the Royal Navy for a career in 1933. He had many stories of his adventures at sea. In 1936 he was involved in the evacuation of Spain during the Spanish Civil War. While serving aboard the Ajax he aided the Chilean people after a devastating earthquake in 1939. He also went to the United States where he met and was photographed with child actress Shirley Temple.
At the Battle of the River Plate in 1939 it was noted that Leonard fired the first shot from HMS Ajax at the Graf Spee.
After World War Two Leonard operated his own furniture restoration business and worked as an electrical engineer at Philco and Plessey. In the 1950s he acted as an advisor on the set of the film ‘Battle of the River Plate’. During the filming John Gregson, who played Captain Bell of the Exeter, sent a telegram congratulating Leonard’s wife on the birth of their daughter. His final employer was Ford UK.
Leonard was married twice and had two daughters. In his retirement he had a passion for gardening.
Leonard died on November 3, 2007 at the age of 93. His ashes were committed to sea by the Royal Navy at Portsmouth in 2008.
- Copyright Statement:
- Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
- Location of Original:
- Original document and image located in the Ajax Archives.
Ajax Public Library
Agency street/mail address
55 Harwood Avenue S.