- Surnames starting with the letter L. 

Russell Medley Leake MC & Bar

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:03rd Bn*
Name of Rgt or Ship:Loyal North Lancashire Rgt
How Died:Killed in Action
Country of burial:FranceGrave Photo:Yes
Cemetery or Memorial:Bellicourt British Cemetery
Town Memorial:Hale
Extra Information:
Born 9th July 1894., the 3rd son of James Medley & Florence Leake (nee
Ramm).  Birth registered during the September quarter 1894 at Chorlton R.D.
- ref: 8c/683.

1901 census - Woodhill, Harrop Road, Hale, Cheshire.    Son - aged: 6 -
born: Fallowfield, Manchester.  His father, James Medley Leake - Married -
aged 45 years - occupation: Grey Cloth Agent.     Florence (mother) - Wife
- aged: 42 - born: Manchester.  Plus his younger brother - Kenneth aged 4
years and 3 servants.

First attended Sedbergh Preparatory School in May 1905.  He was not an
athlete by nature, but made himself a useful member of the Cricket XI.   He
had a gift for writing English, he sang well and was a successful actor in
the School plays.    In September 1908 he moved up to Sedbergh (Higher)
School (Evans House) No. 1730 - he became a Prefect, leaving in July 1913. 
   He was a Classical Scholar at the Worcester College, Oxford.

1911 Census - Evans House, Sedbergh School, Sedbergh, Yorkshire.    Boarder
- aged: 14 - Scholar - born: Fallowfield, Manchester.  Head was Arthur
Martyn - aged: 44 - occ: Schoolmaster and his wife - Nora Ann Martyn.

Owing to his hatred of Militarism, he could never be persuaded to join the
OTC at School.   But, out of sheer indignation, in August 1914, he enlisted
in the Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers and served in the
ranks for nearly two years, later commissioned in the Loyal North
Lancashire Rgt - attd to the 01st Bn.

MIC - Originally a Private in the 19th Bn Royal Fusiliers - No. PS600.  
Drafted to France on the 14th November 1914.   Commissioned into the LNLR
on the 4th August 1916.  Awarded BWM - 15 Star & Victory.

Ref: "British Regiments 1914 - 1918" - The 3rd Bn Loyal North Lancashire
Rgt was formed in at Preston on the 4th August 1914 - five days later it
moved to Felixstowe where it stayed for the duration of the war (Presumably
he asked to be transferred in order that he could get into the action).  
The 1st Bn was formed at the Tournay Barracks, Aldershot on the 4th August
1914 in the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division.   On the 13th August it landed at Le
Havre and on the 7th February (at the time of the re-organisation of the
battalions) it became part of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division.

The 16/04/1918 edition of the local newspaper reported that he had been
awarded the M.C. with bar, and that his brothers, Captain Eric Gilbert
Leake R.F.C. (killed in July 1918) and  Captain Kenneth H. Leake, serving
with the Loyal North Lancashire Rgt. had been awarded the M.C.      The
local newspaper reported that he had been awarded a M.C. in April 1917 for
his actions on the 6th/7th March 1917 and a bar to it in November 1917.  
He was also wounded in November 1917, but returned to the front in the
spring of 1918.    The only set Battles taking place on the 6th/7th March
were the Operations on the Ancre 11th January to 13th March 1917, but the
1st Division is not listed as having been involved in those engagements

The 1st Division were involved in many of the set piece Battles of 1914,
1915 and 1916, but I have no knowledge of when he went to the front, other
than he must have been there early in April 1917 to win the M.C.   I will,
therefore, only detail those actions of 1917 and 1918 that he MAY have been
involved in, by virtue of his attachment to the 1st Division.   (1) The
German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line 14th March to 5th April 1917.    (2)
The Flanders Offensive - German attack on Nieuport 10th and 11th July 1917.
  (3) Second Battle of Passchendaele 26th October to 10th November 1917.   
 (4) The Offensive in Flanders 9th to 29th April 1918 including (4a) The
Battle of the Lys 9th to 29th April. (4b) Th Battle of Estaires 9th to 11th
April. (4c) The Battle fo Béthune 18th April.      (5) The Breaking of the
Hindenburg Line 26th August to 12th October 1918 and the engagement called
the Second Battle of Arras 26th August to 3rd September 1918.

Finally - (6) The Battles of the Hindenburg Line 12th September to 9th
October 1918 and the engagement called the Battle of Epéhy on the 18th
September 1918 - the day he was killed - Bellicourt Cemetery being one of
the main British cemeteries for that Battle.    British employing some
1,488 guns and 300 machine guns attack from 07.00 hours in heavy rain
supported by 21 tanks on a 16 mile front north-west of St. Quentin.   
4,243 German POW's are taken.

His elder brother Eric Gilbert Leake was also killed on active service and
his youngest brother Kenneth lost an arm in battle in November 1916.

French M.I. - "Be faithful unto death & I will give thee a crown of life".

Death reported in the 04/10/1918 edition of the Altrincham Guardian.

Memorials found on:
St. Peter's (Hale)
Altrincham & District Roll of Honour
Sedbergh School
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