WW1 Casualty: Sapper 426634 Harry Leyland -
Sapper 426634 Harry Leyland
© Prescot Reporter
||422nd Field Coy., RE, Corps of Royal Engineers
|Date of Death
||Age at Death
Gorre British & Indian Cemetery
VI B 13
|CWGC Family Details (if shown)
||Son of Mrs. Martha Leyland, of 16, Cyprus St., Prescot, Lancs
||1901 Census -
Henry Leyland, a 45 year old Stoker, and his wife Martha (44), lived at 6, Chapel Walk, Prescot, with their children, Elizabeth (23), John (20), Thomas (17), Mary (10), Annie (9) and Harry (4).
||St Helens, Lancs
||Killed in Action
||Theatre of War
||France & Flanders
|Research Ref. No.
Harry Leyland was killed at the Battle of Estaires in April 1918, part of the German Spring Offensive.
The battle opened on the evening of 7 April, with a heavy German artillery barrage against the southern part of the Allied line (between Armentières and Festubert). The barrage continued until dawn on 9 April. The German Sixth Army then attacked with eight divisions. The centre of the attack struck the Portuguese divisions, which crumbled. The British 55th Division (south of the Portuguese) pulled back its northern brigade and despite numerous further attacks held its ground for the rest of the battle. The British 40th Division (to the north) was outflanked and attacked from the rear and fell back to the north.
The Germans broke through 15 km of front and advanced up to 8 km, the most advanced probe reaching Estaires on the Lys. There they were finally halted by British reserve divisions.
Sapper Leyland was one of eight men of his unit who died on 9th April 1918. Four of them ,including Harry Leyland, rest in Gorre British Cemetery.
The Parish Magazine of 29th May 1918 added 10 names to the existing 106 who had already fallen, including “Despatch-Rider Harry Leyland, 22, Royal Engineers. Killed while on duty 9th April. Lived with parents, 16, Cyprus Street”.
Harry Leyland’s Medal Index Card lists his entitlement to the British War Medal and Victory Medal
Although Harry Leyland is buried in Gorre British Cemetery, his family included the above inscription on the family headstone in Prescot Churchyard. The second picture shows the grave, located adjacent to that of Harry Whitaker whose details are elsewhere on this site.