Name of Researcher / Enw’r ymchwylydd: Mavis Williams
Name / Enw: Leach, George
Regiment/Catrawd: 1st/6th Royal Welsh Fusiliers
Service Rank and Number / Rheng gwasanaeth a rhif: Private 268535 and 37889
Military Cemetery/Memorial / Fynwent milwrol: Beersheba War Cemetery
Ref No Grave or Memorial / Rhif cyfeirnod bedd: F. 81.
Country of Cemetery or Memorial / Gwlad y fynwent neu gofeb: Israel
Medals Awarded / Medalau a ddyfarnwyd: British War & Victory Medals.
Date of Death: 6th November 1917
Date and Circumstances of Death / Dyddiad ac amgylchiadau marwolaeth:
Killed in Action 6th November 1917
George Leach was born circa 1888 in Blackburn, Lancashire, the only son of John M. Leach and Jane A. Cockhutt, who I believe married in the March quarter of 1878, in Blackburn.(Vol. 8e, Page 502)
George was listed on the 1891 census, living at 11, Wimberley Street, Blackburn, Lancashire. John M. Leach, 40, head of the household was a Joiner. His wife Jane A was 38. All the family had been born in Blackburn. Their daughters were, Elizabeth A., 10, Mary A., 7, and Maggie, 2 months old, son George was 3 years old. A daughter Grace had been born circa 1879, she was listed on the 1891 census living with an Aunt and Uncle, (Joshua & Mary Hindle). (There is a marriage of a Grace Leach to a James William Marsden).
The 1901 census records the family at 49, Carlisle Street, Blackburn. The family had grown but tragedy had struck as Jane Ann. had died. Widower John M. Leach, 49 was still a Joiner. Jane had died in the June quarter of 1898, the death registered in Blackburn (Vol. 8e, Page 246), age 45.
In 1901 John was still head of the household, with Daughter Elizabeth A. 20 and single working as a Paper Bag Maker. Daughter Mary A. 17, was an Assistant Grocer, as was George, 13. Daughters Maggie, 10, Amy, 6 and Jennie, 8 made up the family.
The 1911 census lists the family at 79 Larkhill Blackburn, Lancashire. Head of the household, widower John Makinson Leach, 59, was then a Newsagent. Elizabeth Ann, 30 and single was the housekeeper for the family. George, 23 was a House Painter, Maggie, 20, Anny 16 and Jennie, 13 were all Cotton Weavers.
There is no Flintshire WW1 Index Card, for George Leach.
George is mentioned in the book “Soldiers Died in the Great War 1914 – 1918 – Royal Welsh Fusiliers Volume 28” which is where I found him and this told us that he had enlisted in Shotton although he is not listed on any Flintshire memorial.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 confirms George Leach’s regimental information as above and also that he was born in Blackburn, but enlisted in Shotton.
George Leach’s Service Records have survived and are accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk
His Attestation papers tell us his address was 74 The Lainces (Laurels?) Connah Quay, and later 38, Ash Grove, Shotton. Also a list of his relatives stated that he had six sisters, but no brothers, confirming that he was the only son. He did not marry.
The records tell us that he enlisted on the 21st October 1915 when he was 26 years old. His religion was C of E. He embarked from Devonport on the ‘Saxon’ on 13th February 1917 and disembarked at Alexandria, Egypt on 1st March 1917. He joined his regiment ‘in the field’ on 31st March 1917 and was killed in action on the 6th November that year.
A medical report noted Cardiac’ irregulants’