MAJOR LEONARD RUSSELL
EAST LANCASHIRE REGIMENT
9TH MAY 1915 AGE 42
BURIED: ROYAL IRISH RIFLES GRAVEYARD, LAVENTIE, FRANCE
Che sara sara - what will be will be. This is an old phrase that predates by centuries the Doris Day song which will have made the words familiar to many people today. The phrase, which always seems to have a fatalistic edge to it, is a contraction of the Italian phrase, 'Quel che sara sara' (There are accents over the second 'a' of sara but the database won't accept them.)
This would seem to be appropriate for the inscription Mrs Jenny Eleanor Russell chose for her husband. Russell had been a soldier since he was commissioned into the East Lancashire Regiment in 1893. He had served in India for many years but his regiment were in South Africa when the war broke out. They left South Africa at the beginning of October 1914 and were in France by the 6 November.
The regiment took part in the opening day of the battle of Aubers Ridge when many of them were killed by the British artillery firing short rather than by the German guns - 'Che sara sara'.