LEACH, Lewis

No.314207, 2nd Lieutenant, Lewis LEACH
Aged 29

1st Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.
Killed in Action on Sunday, 13th August 1944

Born in 1915 in Mildenhall. [Mildenhall Q1-1915 4A:1808], son of John and Edith LEACH (née FENDICK) of Mildenhall. He was married to Noreen Charlotte Hannah SWEENEY in 1938 in Hastings, later of Hollington, St Leonards on Sea, Sussex.

His father died earlier in 1939, but in the 1939 register his mother [2-2-1875] and sister Nellie[5-10-1904] were living at High Street, Mildenhall. Lewis and his wife have not been found on the register

Summary from Col.Nicholson's "History of the Suffolk Regiment 1928-1946":-
The 1st Battalion had been involved in heavy fighting with the German 11/8th Parachute regiment but had reached the crossroads on the La Fouguerie road with the Vire-Tinchebray road. The next objective was to advance along the road towards Tinchebray. This was made more difficult by the Germans occupying the higher on the left. The forward companies had reach their first objective by 03:00 on the 13th, but had suffered a steady stream of casualties. By mid-day "C" Coy had had taken over the right flank between "A" Coy and the Americans at La Fouguerie. Keeping out of sight behind a ridge they managed a quiet day. In the evening they were ordered to start an advance, together with the East Yorks, each supported by a squadron of Churchill tanks, towards Tinchebray. Our barrage started at 20:15, followed closely by a counter barrage from the Germans which caught "B" Coy and killed all three platoon commander,s the C.S.M. and a Sergeant, wounding Lt Doree who died on the way to the ADS, and two platoon sergeants. The advance continued, an enemy machine gun post was taken, but not before Capt Powell had been killed. Unfortunately our own artillery, not knowing the post was now in our possession began to shell it. The firing was quickly stopped but not before some serious injuries had been caused. Despite having not slept for 2 nights and some men grabbing any chance for a nap during any pause, they were ordered to get on as far as they could during even during the darkness. In the event they progressed to 6oo yards past their original objective by 03:00 on the 14th.

CWGC record 27 of the 1st Suffolks killed on the 13th August 1944. Initially Lewis was buried with others of the battalion at Coauard ? and re-interred in St Charles de Percy in April 1946. .

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Lewis Leach is buried in St Charles de Percy War Cemetery, France grave 8:A:13
and commemorated on his parents' grave in Mildenhall Old Cemetery.

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details

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