2nd Bn
XX The Lancahire Fusiliers

Hello Mr. Eastwood, Looking on your Web Site.
Could you be kind enough to assist us please.
Our beloved headmaster of years ago belonged to The 2nd Lancashire Fusiliers. He joined up for WW1, whilst teaching at our Grammar School in 1913.
He became Sergeant and he was awarded the DCM for conspicuous bravery.
He returned to teaching in 1919.
Mr Leech was educated at Hackney Downs School, which belonged to The Grocers Company..
He was appointed to teach at The Laxton Grammar School Oundle,Peterboroughin 1913.
He was promoted to Master in Charge in 1922.
He retired in 1952 .
He died March 2nd 1959.
He was a modest man and declined to discuss the conspicuous action for which he was awarded his D.C.M.
Would it be possible for you to research information on the location of the action , and a description of the conspicuous bravery?
Many 'Old Boys' taught by our Head Master would be most grateful to hear from you.
Best Wishes, David G. Osborn. ( Laxton Grammar School 1951- 1955)

Following research, this is what I discovered.

57625 Sgt S.J.J. Leech 2nd Bn The XXth The Lancashire Fusiliers.

57625 Corporal (later Sergeant) S J J Leech was published in the London
Gazette dated 16th January 1919 as having won the Distinguished Conduct

The award followed his heroic efforts engaged in some fierce fighting during the
approach to the Hindenburg line late in 1918.

The 2nd Bn at that time were commanded by Lt Col H A Kirkby DSO.

The 2nd Bn moved down from Flanders at the end of August 1918 and were sent into
trenches at Monchy -Le-Preux.

On the 2nd September 1918 they were preparing for an attack on the
Drocourt-Queant line enemy line ,they were being heavily shelled and gassed
during the preperation and bagan to lose officers and men quite quickly

The 2nd Bn advanced and follwing some very fierce fighting had managed to
rush the German lines, knocking out 2 enemy field guns and taking many

They consolidated near a place named Etaing.and were severely tested by
heavy machine gun and artillery fire and suffered very high casualties.

Cpl Leech was in "A" Company.
A Company had lost the Company Commander, the Company
Sergeant Major and all the Sergeants.

The only Officer left was a very junior Officer newly arrived from England..

There were no telephone communications and no chance of reaching any of the
other scattered Companies, who had gone too far to the left and were out of

An order came for a new attack to be made upon Etaing and at 0500 hrs on the
3rd September 1918, A Company went in to attack the enemy.

During this attack Cpl Leech proved to be of the greatest assistance to the
inexperienced young officer and it fell to Leech to advise and guide the
young man.

Due to his laudable judgement and coolness under fire, he contributed to
the steadiness and good organisation of the Company.

They managed to reach their objective, capturing a dozen prisoners and the
rest of the Bn were then able to follow up and take up a position
overlooking the river Sensee.

The casualties during this operation were 1 Officer and 22 men killed, with
6 Officers and 158 men wounded.

Two Military Crosses were awarded and 2 Distinguished Conduct Medals, one of
which went to Cpl Leech.

Sgt S.J.J. Leech DCM
2LF and Schoolmaster at Laxton Grammer School