|Thomas Arthur Leech (photo via RD)|
In Chester on 3 September 1889
Baptised at St. Paul’s Church, Chester on 30 January 1890
Thomas Leech, a Locomotive Engine Driver and Mildred Maria Leech
Of 19 Cecil Terrace, Chester at his baptism.
Thomas had married Mildred Maria Midford at Plemonstall, Cheshire on 2nd August 1880
Position in family: 4th son of 7 boys and 2 girls.
Note: 1911 Census states 10 children born living 2 have since died
1. Georgina L Leech b c1882
2. George Leech b c1884 d Q3 1896 aged 12 in Chester
3. William Leech b c1886
4. Joseph Leech b c1888
5. Thomas Arthur Leech b 3 September 1889 WWI KILLED
6. Ernest Leech b c1892
7. Nellie Gertrude Leech b c1895
8. Frederick Leech b c 1897
9. Charles R. Leech b c1900
Home address, age and occupation:
1891: 19 Cecil Terrace Chester. Aged 1
1901: 21 Queen Street Chester, Aged 11.
1911: 43 Farrar Street Barnsley Aged 21. Foundry Labourer
1914 on enlistment: 9 Wellington Place, Waterloo Road, Barnsley
He married Ethel Roberts in 25 August 1913 at Worsbrough Dale Church
1. Mildred Louvain Leech b 21st February 1915 m. Clifford Armitage Q3 1939
Note: Louvain was sacked by the Germans on 26 August 1914
Enlisted: 6th October 1914 aged 25 years 33days
Regiment and Battalion: York and Lancaster Regiment, 13th Battalion, Barnsley Battalion
Service number and rank: 13/576 Private
Trade on enlisting: Blacksmith’s striker
The Victory Medal and the British War Medal were awarded to his widow in 1921.
Home posting 6 October 1914 to 27 December 1915
Expeditionary Force Mediterranean 28 December 1915 to 10 March 1916
Embarked Egypt for BEF 11 March 1916
France 11 March 1916 to 1 July 1916
1 July 1916 Missing in the Field
Personal details: 5ft 4 ¾ ins tall: Weight 123 lbs: Chest 34 ½ ins: Complexion sallow: Eyes brown: Vision Normal
Death: 1st July 1916 aged 26. Killed in Action.
CWGC Remembered: Thiepval Memorial Pier and Face 14A and 14B.
October 2007 at Thiepval
The story above has been written and sent to us by Richard Dyson, the great nephew of Thomas Arthur Leech. The photo of Thomas was provided by K, his grand-daughter whom Richard has been in contact with.
Richard remembers that his mother used to tell him that she lost three uncles in the First World War, Thomas Leech being one of these. The other two were Peter Finan and Richard Stanley, both on the Worsbrough Dale War Memorial.
Thomas Arthur Leech is mentioned in the recent book by the Worsbrough History Group which contains short biographies of the men on their memorial and of a few more whom they consider should have been included. Thomas is one of the latter. He does not appear on any memorial in Barnsley that we are aware of.
On 12 August 1916 the following appeared in the Barnsley Chronicle:
"Pte Thomas A Leech, A Co. 1st Barnsley Battalion, has been missing since the Great Advance, 1st July. His wife, Mrs Leech, of 228 High Street, Worbro' Dale, anxiously awaits tidings."
On 2 September 1916 Thomas' parents also ask for news:
"News is anxiously sought by Mr. and Mrs. Leech, of 43, Farrar Street, Barnsley, regarding their son, Pte. Thomas Arthur Leech, who has been missing since July 1st. He was in the 1st Barnsley Battalion and before enlisting worked at Messrs. Qualter and Smith's foundry."