Frederick LEAH
Rank: Private
Number: 63070
Unit: 9th Battalion WELSH REGIMENT
Date of Death: 15 January 1918
Age: 19
Cemetery: Fifteen Ravine British Cemetery, Villers-Plouich, Pas de Calais

Fred was the younger child, and possibly only son, of Joseph and Eleanor. He was born in Hazel Grove and the family lived there for many years at 29 Nelson Street.

He was, almost certainly, conscripted into the army when he became 18 and was assigned to the Pembrokeshire Yeomanry for training purposes. This was a cavalry unit of the Territorial force and, before going overseas on active service, Fred was transferred as an infantryman to the Welsh Regiment.

On the day he died, the Battalion was in the second line support trenches near Ribecourt. It's War Diary doesn't further describe the day and has no mention of casualties. Regimental records published after the War indicate that Fred "died" - normally a designation for a death by accident or illness and not one connected with combat. The Cemetery where he's buried is close to Ribecourt so it seems as though he probably died on duty. The published records contain many inaccuracies and it may well be that, in fact, Fred was killed by the regular enemy shelling.

Further information about Fred can be found in the book "Hazel Grove to Armageddon" by John Eaton.

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