Albert Kenneth Leach

Above photo taken while on leave in England, March 30, 1918, just 5 weeks prior to his death

Thank you to Bruce Kettles for providing the service file


Apr 6, 1899

Born at Devonshire, England to Arthur Thomas and Ellen Jane (nee Prouse) Leach


Apr 20, 1916

Attested into the 109th Battalion at Lindsay Ontario 

Ø      Number 724246

Ø      Next of kin given as Arthur Thomas Leach, father, of Lindsay Ontario

Ø      Previous occupation given as Brass Worker

Ø      No previous military experience given

Ø      Religion given as Salvation Army 

He did not lie about his age and was attested even though he was under the required age.  The Battalion moved to Kingston for training


Jul 20, 1916

Transferred to the No. 3 Special Service Company, No. 3 Special Service Battalion at Kingston


Nov 28, 1916

Transferred to the 252nd Battalion


Dec 29, 1916

Promoted to the rank of Corporal


Feb 28, 1917

Reverted to the rank of Private at his own request


May 29, 1917

Embarked the RMS Olympic at Halifax, Nova Scotia


Jun 9, 1917

Disembarked at Liverpool England and proceeded to Seaford


Jun 10, 1917

On arrival at Seaford, the Battalion was absorbed into the 6th Reserve Battalion where training was continued


Nov 14, 1917

Transferred to the 21st Battalion and proceeded to the 2nd CIBD (Canadian Infantry Base Depot) at Etaples, France.  On arrival there he was TOS (Taken On Strength) the 21st Battalion


Nov 17, 1917

He left No. 2 CIBD and joined the CC Rein C (Canadian Corps Reinforcement Camp) at Calonne Ricouart


Nov 24, 1917

Joined the 21st Battalion at the front, north-west of Arras, France


Mar 15, 1918

Granted 14 days leave


Apr 4, 1918

Rejoined the Battalion from leave


May 7, 1918

Pte Leach died of wounds that he received in action.  The service file does not indicate the date that he was initially wounded, but the Battalion was in the front line near Mercatel France for the week leading up to his death.  On being wounded, he would have been removed to a Field Ambulance and then to a Casualty Clearing Station.  Given the burial location, this is likely where he died.


Bellacourt Military Cemetery
Riviere France

(The top photograph  is the original cross that was erected and the current headstone is on the bottom.  Note the error in the date of death on the original cross.)

Following the war the British War Medal, Victory Medal and Memorial Cross were sent to his mother, Mrs Ellen Leach, at Box 519 Lindsay, Ontario

The Plaque (Dead Man’s Penny) and Scroll were sent to his father, Mr AK Leach at the same address


The mention of the 253rd Battalion above is in error, it should read 252nd Battalion

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