Son of Mr William & Mrs Clara Leech
Aged 20 years
Died 26th September 1915
Commemorated on Loos Memorial
Panel 91 to 93.
|Born at Earls Barton, enlisted at Rushden.
|Family Notes from Pam Rice, niece
Son of Mr William and Mrs Clara Leech (nee Tebbutt), had three sisters and four brothers, Alice, Herbert, Florence, Percy, Gladys, William & Francis (my father - born 1905). The family moved to Rushden from Earls Barton before 1905, and lived in one of the "8 Houses" at 20 Bedford Road.
A survivor of the Battle of Loos returned home to Rushden to tell Fred's parents that: "As we climbed out of the trenches, I turned left, but Fred and all his gang went right. None of them made it back".
|The Rushden Echo, Friday 16 October 1914, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Recruit's New Uniform - 'Don't You Worry'
Mr and Mrs W Leech, of Rushden, have received a postcard from their son Fred who is amongst the recruits at Shoreham. He writes that he has received his new uniform of blue, and that he hopes to come home some Saturday in the near future for a two days leave. On the back of Private Leech's card is a poem entitles "Don't you worry, mother dear", by one of the recruits at Shoreham, but which we are unable to reprint as it is copyright.
|The Wellingborough News, Friday 21 January 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Parents Seek News
Mr and Mrs Wm Leech, of 20, Bedford-road, Rushden, seek news of their son, 15296, Pte F Leech, "C" Co., 7th Northants Regiment, who has been missing since the battle of Loos. Pte Leech, who was last seen at the front on September 26th, 1915, enlisted in the same month of the preceding year. He formerly worked at the C.W.S. boot factory.
|The Rushden Echo, Friday 21 January 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier - Missing Since the Battle of Loos
Pte F Leech, 15296, "C" Co., 7th Northamptons, son of Mr and Mrs Leech, 20 Bedford-road, Rushden, has been missing since the Battle of Loos. Pte Leech who was last seen at the front on Sept. 25th enlisted in Sept. 1914. He worked at the C.W.S. boot factory at Rushden. News of him would be appreciated by the parents.
|The Wellingborough News, Friday 28 January 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Missing Since September
No news has yet been heard of Pte F Leech, "C" Co., 7th Northants Regiment, who has been missing since the battle of Loos on September 26th, 1915. He is the son of Mr and Mrs W Leech, of 20, Bedford-road, Rushden, who would be glad of any information concerning him.
|The Rushden Echo, Friday 30 June 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier Killed - News from the War Office
Caught in a Trench by Germans Cut Off from his Battalion
Mr and Mrs Leech, of 20 Bedford-road, Rushden, have we regret to say now received official news that their son, Pte F Leech, was killed in action on Sept. 26, 1915. As previously recorded in the "Rushden Echo", Pte Leech was reported missing after the battle of Loos, and until now his parents had received no definite information as to his fate. The news of his death was received from the War Office yesterday week.
Yesterday the following letter was received from the British Red Cross Association to whom Mrs Leech had written asking for information:-
"Dear Madam, - Since your letter to our office on February 5th enquiring about your missing son, I much regret to tell you that no report of any kind has reached us until to-day, and this one is of such a sad nature that I hardly like to send it on to you without confirmation from another source. However, at this great length time, I feel we may perhaps never hear anything further. I should not, however, recommended your accepting it as final. Our informant is in a hospital abroad, place unknown. I will give you his account in his own words.
'Leech was with a party in a trench through which the Germans broke on both sides. The men were, therefore, cut off from the main body of the battalion, and were in the hands of the Germans. Some hours later our battalion and some of the Cameroons retook the trench but they found no trace of any of these men.'
"Our informant knew all their names well. I am bound to tell you that if your son was taken prisoner his name should have reached us long ago on the lists that come through from Germany, but it is so very difficult in these cases to say what the Germans may have done that we can only leave the matter in suspense. With great sympathy for you in your terrible uncertainty - yours faithfully, (Mrs) T C Richards, for Sir Louis Mallet"
The late Private Leech was, prior to his enlistment, employed by the CWS and was one of the first to enlist from those workers in September, 1914. As a lad he passed through the Park-road Baptist Sunday School.
|The Rushden Echo, Friday 7 July 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Rushden Soldier Killed
Son of Mr and Mrs W Leech, of 20 Bedford-road, Rushden, who (as reported in last week's "Rushden Echo") is now officially reported killed in action.
|The Rushden Echo, Friday 11 August 1916, transcribed by Nicky Bates
Missing Rushden Man Now Reported Killed
Pte F Leech (Rushden), 15296, Northants Regt, who has been reported missing, was yesterday listed by the War Office as being killed.