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Photo of William Leonard Vellender

William Leonard Vellender

Birthplace Winchester Place of Death Eastbourne Date of Birth: December 25, 1888 Date of Death: June 27, 1977


Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : William Leonard Vellender

Gender: Male

Date and Place of Birth: 25/12/1888 Winchester

Date and Place of Death: 27/06/1977 Eastbourne

Nationality: British



Parents: William and Annie Vellender

Parent’s occupations: Cabinet maker (father)

Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: 

Peter Symonds School and London University

Occupation: Chemistry Teacher

Place of residence at Gretna: N/K

Job title at Gretna: Chemist at Dornock

Marital status: Married Grace Bagnald 29/07/1914 in Hackney

Children: Bernard Francis Vellender (1915-1994) and 

Kathleen Margaret Vellender (1922-1958)

Travels: N/K


Trivia / any other information: 



  • Books published (Title, year of publication, publisher): N/K
  • Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher): N/K


  • Blogs about the individual: N/K
  • Websites about the individual: N/

Further links, notes, and comments:


William Leonard Vellender

William Leonard Vellender was a chemistry teacher, who worked at Dornock during the Great War. After the war, he returned to teaching and raised a family in Eastbourne.

William was born on Christmas Day in 1888 in Winchester, the son of William and Annie Vellender. William senior was a cabinet makers’ foreman.

William Leonard won a scholarship to Peter Symonds School in Winchester before taking a science degree at London University. He became an assistant school master in Islington. He met Grace Bagnald, and they married in Hackney in 1914. Their son Bernard Francis was born a year later (1).

During the Great War, William worked at HM Factory Gretna. He was employed as chemist in charge of acid mixing and manager of the nitro-acids works at Dornock.

After the war, William resumed his teaching career and the family moved to Eastbourne, where he taught chemistry at Eastbourne Grammar School. Their daughter Kathleen Margaret was born there in 1922. He continued to teach until his retirement in 1954 (2). 

He had hoped for a peaceful retirement tending his garden. However, tragedy struck on 25th August 1958 when his daughter Kathleen was one of five passengers killed in a rail crash at Eastbourne station.

William died on 25th June 1977 in Eastbourne, age 88.


(1) Pariser family tree on Ancestry

(2) Eastbourne Gazette Wednesday 21st July 1954




Name and address mentioned in the Dornock Farewell, held in The Devil’s Porridge Museum’s archive collection.

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