Eric Leatherbarrow and his brother James Leatherbarrow both appear on the memorial. Their story is a sad one in which their mother Annie plays a big part. (Follow the link to James’s page on this website)
Except for their military careers, both boys’ family stories are the same. They appear on a census for the first time in 1901. Their parents’ were James and Annie Leatherbarrow ( nee Minard). They had married in Wigan in 1890 ( Volume 8c Page 111). They were living at 49, Franklin Road, Gillingham, Kent. James, 34, was a Blacksmith who had been born in Wigan, Lancashire. His wife Annie L, 30 had been born in Liverpool, Lancashire. Their listed children were Lilian M. 9 (born in Liverpool) James M. 7 ( born in Wigan) and son Eric 2 (born in Burslem, Staffordshire).
The 1911 census records that the father James, 45 was still a blacksmith and was in Bolton, at 248 Church St Westhoughton, Lancashire. He was listed as head of the household. No-one else was in the house. His family was living at 10, Kirby Grove Shotton, Flintshire. Annie Lilian 42, was recorded as having been married for 20 years. Four children had been born and all were still living. The listed children were James Minard, 17, who worked as a steel smelter, probably at John Summer’s & Sons Steelworks in Shotton. Eric 12 and Bertram 9 were at school.
UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 accessible on www.ancestry.co.uk confirms Eric’s regimental details as above and tells us that he was born in Burslem, Staffordshire and enlisted in Shotton. He was Killed in Action age 19. His medal card also on ‘Ancestry’ details his medal entitlement.
There is an index card for Eric in the Flintshire Roll of Honour at The County Record Office in Hawarden. (F15 Queensferry). It quotes the address 13, Brookside, Garden City. and confirms Erics regiment and number. It adds that he served for a period of 13 months and was Killed in action when only 19 years. “Shame to kill our boys while the men were to cowardly to fight for their Wives and Children” signed by Annie L. Leatherbarrow 14th September 1920
Annie Leatherbarrow, was so angry and distraught at the loss of both Eric & James that she wrote a “letter” on the back of the Flintshire WW1 Index Cards of both James & Eric, (starting on one and finishing on the other).
“A Conscript on the Garden City, A 1918 man, gets £150 a year. Both my Breadwinners has died for England & their Mother gets 15/- a week. That is where the Nations money goes. Can you wonder at the unrest in the Country. 12 months ago the Special Grants Commission allowed me £50 Education Grant and up to now they have not sent a penny yet. ( Name inserted, although I cannot make it out) ??????? , who never intended to go to College & who never left England was a shirker & Conscript can have £150 a year. Could you have both these cases inquired into and see who is to blame. Cant (sic) the Grants Commission trust me, the Mother of 2 Brave Soldiers with the £50 granted me 12 months ago. Trusting to an early rely, I remain, yours respectfully, Annie L. Leatherbarrow.”
Eric Leatherbarrow along with his brother James is remembered on the Memorial Plaque in St. Andrew’s Church, Garden City, St. Ethelwold’s Church Roll of Honour which is in the Lady Chapel to the left of the Alter and the Roll of Honour in the Queensferry War Memorial Institute.
His sister only Lilian was involved in the war as this newspaper cutting tells us:-
FLINTSHIRE OBSERVER & NEWS – 5th September 1918
MILTARY NEWS – Private Eric Leatherbarrow has been killed in France. He worked at Messrs Summer’s Ironworks and lived at the Garden City, Queensferry. His eldest brother was killed in the Dardanelles battles, and a sister is now serving as a Red Cross Nurse.
So we know the family were living at No. 25 Brookside, Garden City in 1914.
Post Script: – Their brother Bertram went to the Hawarden County School, but he was known as Grey B. Leatherbarrow :-
Here is his entry there:- 482(478 his entry on the School Admissions Book*) Leatherbarrow, Grey B. Born 7th July 1901, 25, Brookside, Garden City. Father’s occupation:- Eng. Blacksmith, entered the school:- 14th September 1914, Former School, Queensferry.Cl. £6 School. Left 19th December 1918.
* School Admissions Book (478) – in addition to the above details it tells us that Bertram Grey Leatherbarrow was a Day pupil (Terms not kept) and he had Total Exemption granted from 14th September 1914 by School Govs. Tenable for School Life. His further education was at Liverpool University.
His birth was registered in September 1901 with the name Leatherbarrow, Bertram Grey (Medway 2a, 724 )
I had a lovely email from Lynn Leatherbarrow on the 8th May 2014 via the website, may thanks to her.
I just wanted to thank you for this wonderful site. It has enabled me to further research my two great uncles who died in the First World War. My grandfather was their brother and the only remaining son after the war. I hope to be able to go to Loos to pay my respects on behalf of my family. Thank you for helping me to find them. Lynn