Leonard was the eldest child of Edwin and Susie Reay. His birth was registered at Nowra NSW in 1897. By 1905 the family had moved to Inverell where his father commenced a bacon factory. Leonard was educated at Inverell and became a member of the Independent Pipe Band, playing the pipes and teaching others.
After serving a year of Compulsory Service in Brisbane, he enlisted at Toowoomba in October 1915 and joined the 41st Battalion B Company. His Battalion sailed from Australia for England on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes in May 1916. After being ill in hospital he was sent to Larkhill Camp until going to France in June 1917 and re-joining his Battalion. He was promoted to Sergeant in August, wounded in action in October, and required treatment for some weeks. After leave in England in mid-1918 he returned to France. He was awarded the Military Medal for 'work near Proyart on 11/12 August'. Wounded a second time on the Hindenburg Line, he died of his wounds on 30 September 1918.
Leonard was buried at Doingt Communal Cemetery Extension, France.
At Inverell, Leonard's name was among those recorded on the Independent Pipe Band's Honor Roll.
Image: Sergeant L E Reay, courtesy The Week (Brisbane) 24 January 1919