Henry Leopold Breakey was born on April 2, 1895 in Monaghan, Ireland. He was the son of H. John and Alice Breakey, also of Monaghan, Ireland. He was educated at Model School, Monaghan and Campbell’s College. He began work as an accountant with the Bank of Commerce in 1912, working at the Mission branch before being transferred to Revelstoke in late August 1915. Within days of coming to Revelstoke, he enlisted with the 54th Battalion in Vernon on August 29, 1915.
At the time of his enlistment, he was 20 years of age, 5’10” tall, single, with brown eyes and dark hair. He was a Roman Catholic.
In November 1915 he joined the machine gun section. He was operated on for appendicitis prior to his departure overseas. It was noted that he had a brother, A.G. Breakey working at the Salmon Arm branch of the Bank of Commerce. Henry later transferred to the 102nd Canadian Battalion Royal Air Force and was promoted to Lieutenant.
Henry was engaged in aerial defence of London and Seaplane Patrol of the North Sea and was on active service in France. He was severely wounded in a fight in the air over London, during an air raid.
Henry Leopold Breakey died on July 15, 1918 at the age of 23. At the time of his death he was a Second Lieutenant in the 102nd Battalion of the Royal Air Force. He is buried in Salisbury (London Road) Cemetery, Wiltshire, United Kingdom.
On November 17, 1921, a brass plaque was unveiled at the Revelstoke branch of the Bank of Commerce in honour of the members of the bank staff from Revelstoke who served in the Great War. Among the names is that of Henry Leopold Breakey. The plaque is now housed in Revelstoke Museum and Archives. His name does not appear on the Courthouse plaque or on the Revelstoke Cenotaph.