Leonard Aston was born in 1889 in Bilston. In 1891, he can be found at Hartshorn Street, Bilston, with his parents Samuel and Elizabeth, brothers Edward, Samuel, Walter and Frederick, and sisters Maud, Florence and Mary. By 1901 they have moved to 11 Wellington Road, Bilston, and the family has gained two more children, Elizabeth and Charles. In 1911 they are now at 96 Wellington Road, and Leonard has become a Clerk.
During the War, Leonard served as a Sergeant with the Royal Engineers (service number 53214) and as a Second Lieutenant with the Suffolk Regiment. In 1919, he married a Gertrude A. Turley, and they had a daughter, Margaret, in 1922. Leonard went to work at Stewarts & Lloyds Ltd in Bilston. Stewarts and Lloyds were a large steel tube- manufacturing firm with numerous other national and international works (including Coombs Wood Tube Works at nearby Halesowen). They acquired the Bilston Steelworks in 1920 from Alfred Hickman Ltd. However, they retained the name ‘Alfred Hickman Branch’ for some years after this. They produced high-quality carbon and low alloy steels for the production of seamless tubes.