Captain, Robert Edward LEACH
Aged 30

Army Veterinary Corps, attached 64th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery
Died of his Wounds on Thursday 29th November 1917

Born in Newmarket in Q4-1887 [Newmarket 3b:504] to Edward Hugh and Harriet Alicia LEACH (née HARRISON) of 6 Queensbury Buildings, Upper Station Road, (now Old Station Road) Newmarket.

1891 census...Robert [3] was at 6 Queensbury Buildings, Upper Station Road, Newmarket with his father Edward[38], veterinary surgeon, born Wigan; his mother Harriett [31] born Ripon, and brother Harold H [2] and sister Gladys M [5 months]. All the children were born in Newmarket.

1901 census...Robert [13] was at school in Cambridge, at The Leys School. His parents; sister Galdys and Eveyn [8] born Newmarket; and brother Noel [6] also born Newmarket, were living at The Chestnuts, High Street, Newmarket.

1911 census...Robert [23] was a student veterinary surgeon with his father's practice, living at the Chestnuts, High Street, Newmarket with his parents, brother Harold and sisters Gladys and Evelyn.

He enlisted in Newmarket. Dying of his wounds makes it difficult to locate where and when he was wounded, until such time as his army records may be found at Kew. The date and cemetery indicate he was involved in some phase of the 3rd Battle of Ypres
64th Brigade R.F.A. war diary was not found, but thanks to Nick Miller, amongst his grandfather's belonging was the page required. The Brigade war diary has:-
29th Nov.- Weather fair. Batteries took up about 700 rds of ammunition each. The enemy shelled wagon lines and Vlamertinghe area all the afternoon and during the night. Capt.Leach A.V.C. and 2nd Lieut Mculloch A/64 were wounded and several ..?.. and about 10 horses were killed. Capt.Leach died at No.24 Field Ambulance.

On the 29th November 2015 he was subject of one reading at the Menin Gate, Ypres. His service record has not yet been found at the National Archives

photo by courtesy of great nephew Patrick Jeffers

© Roy Beardsworth

Robert is buried in Vlamertinghe New Military Cemetery, Belgium - Ref: panel IX.A.19
and commemorated in St Mary's Church, Newmarket and his parents headstone in Newmarket cemetery (NG D 175)
Royal Veterinary College WW1 memorial, Camden, Greater London

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