Altrincham WW1 

Frederick George (Fred) Leech

Ship/Rgn/Sqn No:09th Bn
Name of Rgt or Ship:Cheshire Rgt
How Died:Killed in Action
Country of burial:France
Cemetery or Memorial:Thiepval Memorial, Somme
Town Memorial:Sale
Extra Information:
Born in 1895 in the parish of Cross Town, Knutsford, the son of William &
Sarah Leech.

1901 Census - 13 Hyde Grove, Sale.   Son - aged: 6 - born: Knutsford,
Cheshire.   Head of household - William Leech - Married - aged: 36 - occ:
Carter for Urban Council - born: Allostock, Cheshire.   Also - Sarah Leech
- Wife - aged: 37 - born: Ollerton, Cheshire.   Plus 4 elder siblings.

1911 Census - 33 Albion Street, Sale.   Son - aged:16 - occ: Camera Fitter
- born: Knutsford, Cheshire.   Head of household - William Leech - Married
- aged: 48 - occ: Carter - born: Allostock, Cheshire.   Also - Sarah Leech
- Wife - aged: 50 - born: Ollerton, Cheshire.   Plus 1 elder brother.

Member of the Congregational Mission, Kelsall Street, Sale.

Enlisted in September 1914 and was drafted to the front in July 1915.  
Served with the MG Section of the Cheshire Rgt.

WO363 - Enlisted at Altrincham on the 2nd September 1914.  He was then
aged: 19 years 273 day and employed as a Chauffeur, residing at 33 Albion
Street, Sale.  He was 5 feet 5 7/8th inches in height, he weighed 112 lb
and had a chest measurement of 32 1/2 to 34 3/4 inches.  He had good
physical development.   His complexion was Clear, he had blue eyes and
light brown hair.  He had bowing of his left tibia and slight varicose
veins in his left leg.   Recorded as being a Congregationalist.  He was
paid at the rate of 1/8d per day, plus 6d per day ration allowance.

Trained as a Machine Gunner, He embarked at Folkestone on the 19th July
1915  to join his unit in France.   He was wounded on the 2nd July 1916 - 
the second day of the Battle of the Somme and admitted to No. 34 D.C.S.
with a gunshot wound to his cheek.   He died in No. 34 D.R.S. on the 3rd
July 1916.   He was reported as having been buried ?? miles S.S.E.  of
Thiepval and 3 1/4 miles N.N.E. of Albert.

Previously wounded in the face by shrapnel and gunshot wounds to his right

The 9th Battalion, Cheshire Rgt served with the 58th Brigade, 19th
(Western) Division.  In preparation for the Battle, the Battalion moved
forward from Bresle during the night of the 30th June and assembled on a
railway embankment near to the town of Albert.  They took up position in
the Tara-Usna Line at 10.00 hrs on the 1st July.  They later moved forward
to Becourt Wood and from there relieved the 34th Division holding the
German line around the Lochnagar crater.  In action around La Boiselle from
the 2nd to the 4th July, suffering 307 casualties.  They were involved in
much of the fighting throughout July, August, September and October.

They moved to Bouzincourt on the 21st October, then to camp just north east
of the village on the 22nd.   Working parties moved to forward area at
Thiepval, then to front line Thiepval sector 'Stuff' Trench on the 26th
October.   Relieved and to Donnet Post on the 30th.   To the front line
again at 'Lucky Way' on the 2nd November, where Frederick's luck finally
ran out.   Their War diary notes that there was thick fog and even thicker
mud after reaching 'Stuff' Trench and men were getting stuck in the mud.

He was on duty at his gun when he was killed instantly by a shell.

Death reported in the 22/12/1916 edition of the Altrincham Guardian.

His two elder brothers were also serving - Lance Corporal S.R. Leech with
the RWF and W. Leech with the Naval Motor Boat Service.

Memorials found on:
Sale United Reformed
Roebuck Lane Evangelical (Sale)
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