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Bill W



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:23 pm    Post subject: Hello from Indiana Reply with quote

Hello All I am on my second year quest for information on my Great Grandad John D Leitch s/n 3103 . So far I have established John was KIA 15/7/17 in Nieuport Belgium fighting with the 15Th. Highland Light Infantry. I am hoping to find other members with family that fought in this same theater of ops. John and his wife lived in Arbroath at the time of his enlistment so if there any Leitch family members that think they could be related please let me know I would like to hear from them. Best Regards Bill
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In memory of John Duncan Leitch 15th. Battalion Highland Light Infantry Killed in action July 15 1917 Nieuport Belgium.
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Adam Brown
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Joined: 14 Dec 2006
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Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bill

Welcome to the forum. We've got a few memorials from Arbroath on the forum so hopefully you'll find some more information.

Kind regards

Adam
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Bill W



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 1:35 pm    Post subject: John D Leitch Reply with quote

Adam Thank You I will be looking into that memorial. Regards Bill
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In memory of John Duncan Leitch 15th. Battalion Highland Light Infantry Killed in action July 15 1917 Nieuport Belgium.
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Keptie



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 836
Location: near Arbroath Angus

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Pte 3103 JD Leitch 15th HLI Reply with quote

Hi Bill

I see your relative was Pte 3103 John Duncan LEITCH , 15th HLI aged 35 kia 15 July 1917 son of late John Leitch of 14 West Clyde St Helensburgh and husband of Christina C Leitch of 1 Culloden Cres Arbroath and he is listed on the Nieuport Memorial Belgium .

He is also listed in the Scottish National War Memorial roll of honour at the Edinburgh castle with the same details and his place of birth is shown as Helensburgh

He is listed in the Book Highland Light Infantry under 15th Bn with the following details : Leitch , John D Pte 3103
born Helensburgh Dumbartonshire
ENLISTED : glasgow
Residence : Arbroath forfarshire
Kia 15 July 1917 France and Flanders theatre of death.



I have just checked to see if he is recorded on the Arbroath War Memorial unveiled by Lord Inchcape and he is not listed .

I have also checked the Arbroath Year book for 1922 and there is no householder living at 1 Culloden Crescent Arbroath under the surname Leitch . ( That address is still there as it was built near Culloden farm where the farmer fought at Culloden in 1746 )

He is not listed in the two books on Arbroath and district casualties of the Great War : - Roll of honour 1914-1919 by T Buncle & Co and Arbroath's Roll of honour 1914 -1918 Herald Office Arbroath .

There may be mentions in the Arbroath Guide weekly newspaper and in the Arbroath Herald weekly newspaper of men going off to war in the 1914 and joining the colours . These newspapers give battalion , regiment and home address too .

15th (Service ) Bn HLI (1st Glasgow ):

Raised in Glasgow 2 Sept 1914 by Lord Provost and City with many recruits from the Glasgow Tramways . To Gailes , Ayrshire . May 1915 to Prees Heath in 97th Bde . 32nd Div June 1915 to Wensleydale . 1 July 1915 taken over by the War Office . Aug 1915 Salisbury Plain . November 1915 landed at Boulogne . 3 Jan 1916 to 14th Bde 32nd Div . 11 Nov 1918 14th Bde 32nd Div France east of Avesnes .



I have not checked the churches memorials for the casualties for the Great war as there could be several kirks they could have attended residing at Culloden Crescent in the town . Abbey church and the Old Kirk could be ones in the area ...



Why not email the ARBROATH HERALD newspaper and they should print your letter to the editor or make it into a story .


best wishes

patrick w anderson
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Keptie



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 836
Location: near Arbroath Angus

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:49 pm    Post subject: Pte 3103 JD Leitch 15th HLI Reply with quote

Bill

further but you will have found these already :

Medal Roll : Medical card for John D Leitch , HLI, service no 3103 , pte



Have you emailed the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh to see if they have the will of Pte 3103 J D Leitch ??

just an afterthought

Patrick w anderson
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Bill W



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
Posts: 5
Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:59 am    Post subject: John D Leitch Reply with quote

Hello Patrick Thank You so much for giving your time with A complete stranger. For I know these things take time to research. I will pursue your email ideas now knowing of these sources . I feel I can not do enough to keep this mans memory alive after his and all the others great sacrifice. We almost get the feeling he is steeping back into our lives. We now have his photo his Death Penny and re strike medals hanging in our living room. Thank You and Best Regards Bill & Catherine
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In memory of John Duncan Leitch 15th. Battalion Highland Light Infantry Killed in action July 15 1917 Nieuport Belgium.
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Keptie



Joined: 24 Feb 2009
Posts: 836
Location: near Arbroath Angus

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject: Pte JD Leitch HLI Reply with quote

Thank you for your kind reply and yes we have to remember our Brave men and women of the wars .

Have you checked the Helensburgh war memorial and church memorials there as his family have listed him in that town . Wonder if his widow moved after he was killed in action ?? Maybe the earlier year book for Arbroath may show her listed and the Arbroath library holds these .

I see in a book that The Flanders Offensive ( 7th June -10 Nov ) 1917

The battle of Messines - 7th -14th June 1917 but I do not see the 14th Brigade - 32nd Divison involved in that battle but

German attack on NIEUPORT : 10th -11 July 1917

XV Corps , 1st and 32nd DIVISIONS and your gr grandfather was killed in action just days after this attack


Good to be of help


patrick w anderson

remembering Lt P W Anderson Black Watch , RFC & RAF wounded in action 27 June 1918 died of these wounds at home in ARBROATH 2 Nov 1921 .

.
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4834
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He is not listed on the main Helensburgh memorial nor in De Ruvigny's Roll of Honour. His service record is not available on Ancestry and his record on SDGW adds nothing to what you already have.

If you would like a copy of his Medal Index Card, let me know and I will be glad to send it.

Good luck with your quest.

\Paul
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Kenneth Morrison



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
Posts: 5203
Location: Rockcliffe Dalbeattie

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Bill
One of those funny co-incidences - I've been researching another 15th HLI man who died on the same day!!

Robert Watson, a Private in "D" Company, 15th HLI. KIA 15 July 1917.
He was born in Castle Douglas in South-West Scotland.
This Battalion (1st Glasgow) was known as the Glasgow Tramways Battalion as most of the original volunteers came from the Tramways Department of Glasgow Corporation.

The 15th, 16th and 17th Battalions all served together in the 97th Brigade of the 32nd Division, although the 15th moved to the 14th Brigade in 1916.
From June to November 1917 the 32nd Division held a sector of the front line near Nieuport (or Nieuwpoort) and defended the July "Strandfest" attack. see http://www.1914-1918.net/hush.htm

The Battalion History of the 17th HLI can be downloaded at
www.1914-1918.net/hli.htm but the section on the above actions is limited and the download takes some time.
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Ken
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
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Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ken

He is on the Tramways memorial at http://warmemscot.s4.bizhat.com/viewtopic.php?t=99&highlight=tramways

\Paul
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Kenneth Morrison



Joined: 29 Sep 2008
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Location: Rockcliffe Dalbeattie

PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Paul - I'd forgotten about this memorial.

As well as Robert Watson another Castle Douglas man is listed here
ALEXANDER GAW, Pte. (45264) KIA 13 April 1918 - although not a Tramways man.
He was working for the Kirkcudbrightshire Advertiser when he enlisted in the 1/5th KOSB transferring later to the 15th HLI.

There must have been a major action on the 15 July 1917 as Geoff's Search Engine lists 67 men of the 15th HLI killed or missing on that date (including Leitch and Watson) They all seem to be buried in the Ramscappelle Road Military Cemetery or listed on the Nieuport Memorial.
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Kenneth Morrison



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From John Duncan on the Great War Forum

The 15th HLI were ordered up from supports in furtherance of the policy of dislodging the enemy and took possesion after midgnight on 15th July, 1917. Part of the Nasal System which had constituted part of the British line before the attack from Lombartzyde was in German Hands and part in British. "B" Company was on the right of the Battalion, was formed up with three platoons in front of Nose Support Trench to attack Nose Trench and Nose Alley to it's junction with Nose Support. "C" Company was in the centre , on a front of about 250 yards in front of Nasal trench, was to attack Nose Support and Nose Trench from Nose Alley. "D" Compnay ,on the left was to attack from Nose Lane to it's junction with Nose Trench as it's objective. It was a battle amongst confusing defences, but it is sufficient to say that it's main purpose was to push the Germans as far back upon Lombartzyde as possible to render the British poisition east of the Yser more tenable. The objective had been systematically bombarded all day by the artillery with 4.2" Howitzers , and at 1.15 the 15th HLI moved out from their lines close up to the intense barrage. The British artillery was now marshalled behind the lines in competative strength to the Germans. Almost at once the Battalion lost men as a result of machine gun fire.

"B" Company brushed aside opposition and entered Nose Trench and Nose Alley., but other companies were forced to consolidate before reaching their alloted objectives as they were raked by MG fire from the comparitively high ground of the Mamelon Vert, just south east of Lombartzyde. To have subdued the stronghold would have entailed a a prepared and concerted assault, whereas ,here in the pitch darkness, the troops engaged in an emergency assault were scattered in the advance across broken and unfamiliar ground amongst lively shelling. So that the Battalion had to be satisfied with the modicum of success that it had achieved. At least it had added it's quota to the process of building up saftey for the flank and the measure of it's effort in the the night on those fire swep fields and in the lines where the bombs had crackled no fewer than four officers and 200 men, of whom 2 Lt J Michie, so recently rejoined, was killed and Capt D C Watt and 2 Lt's R W Walker and A Mc MacQueen amd S Donaldson wounded. At this unfortunate moment for a new commander, Major V B Ramsden 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers, arrived to take charge of the destinies of the Battalion, the fifth commander in less than three years.


It's sounds a bit of a cobbled together action, drawn up at short notice to avert a crisis, undertaken at night, over unfamiliar ground, it's hardly surprising the casualty rate was high.

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Bill W



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
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Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:24 am    Post subject: Nose Trench Reply with quote

Hello All John Duncan sent me this map of Nieuport. The highlighted area contains the Caesars Nose trench that the 15Th. HLI advanced from. Thought you might like A look Bill

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In memory of John Duncan Leitch 15th. Battalion Highland Light Infantry Killed in action July 15 1917 Nieuport Belgium.
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anne park
Our first ever 2000 poster


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 12:18 pm    Post subject: 15th Bn HLI Reply with quote

I have a couple of men on my database who died the same day.
I have seen a film of 15th bn marching and singing and remember it made mention that they were so proud to be able to march in their green tramway uniforms.
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Bill W



Joined: 11 Mar 2010
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Location: Chicago Area

PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:37 pm    Post subject: 15 Th. Bn. HLI Reply with quote

I counted eight men on the Nieuport Memorial alone that died that night and those were the MIA's . Bill
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In memory of John Duncan Leitch 15th. Battalion Highland Light Infantry Killed in action July 15 1917 Nieuport Belgium.
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