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  • Christina Drummond

Captain Edward Wilberforce Leather, 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment

Remembering the Fallen: on this day in 1915, Captain Edward Wilberforce Leather, 3rd Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment (attached to the 2nd Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry), was killed in action during the Battle of Hill 60 on the Western Front.

It was a Sunday afternoon and he was leading the attack on Hill 60 when he was fatally shot. He was to have left the battlefield for medical attention as he already had shrapnel wounds to his face and a bullet had pierced his cheek earlier that day, but he insisted on staying. When ordered to charge he led his men up the hill, forcing the enemy to retreat from a position they had gained that morning, but sadly he was killed at the end of the charge.

Captain Leather was born and raised at Middleton Hall in Northumberland, his family’s country house having since been turned into exclusive holiday accommodation, and educated at Wellington College. He had five brothers, all of whom served in the British Army during the Great War, the youngest being killed at Neuve Chapelle in October of 1914.

He had joined the 3rd Battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment in 1899, and served in the South African War, being awarded the Queen’s Medal and the King’s Medal, each with two clasps. After the Boer War he resigned his commission and worked as a motor engineer, but rejoined in September of 1914, and had been promoted to Captain shortly before his death. He is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

Edward, from Belford, Northumberland, was 35 years old.

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