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
Gazette dated 16th January 1919 as having won the Distinguished
The award followed his heroic efforts engaged in some fierce fighting
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
during the preperation and bagan to lose officers and men quite
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
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
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.