CWG: Private Charles Leach

Private Charles Leach

Charles George Leach was born in 25th July 1872 and was the second of eight children. His parent were Gloucestershire-born painter William Leach and his laundress wife Ellen who raised the family in Greenwich, South London. William had married previously, but his first wife, Emma, had died in 1868, leaving him a widow at 40, with five children to raise. He had married Ellen shortly after, and the family grew in size.

There is little information on Charles’ young life. It seems like the family had moved down to Sussex at some point; this is where Charles met his future wife, fisherman’s daughter Ellen. By the time William died in 1909, the family had again relocated, this time moving back to Gloucestershire.

The 1911 census gives Charles and Ellen visiting Charles’ sister Alice and her husband. The couple had two children by this point, as did Alice. Charles’ mother Ellen was also living there; a family of nine living in a house in the town of Cinderford.

Details of Charles’ military life as somewhat sketchy. He did enlist, joining the Royal Army Service Corps on 6th December 1915, and certainly served in France, gaining the Victory and British Medals and the 1915 Star. However the records suggest that Private Leach was discharged from the army on medical grounds in the spring of 1916, and the refusal of a war gratuity – paid once soldiers had attained six months’ service – seems to back this up.

There is little more information available on Charles Leach. He and Ellen went on to have four children in all, and moved back to Sussex, close to her family. He passed away on 4th March 1919, at the age of 46, but no cause of death is available.

Charles George Leach lies at rest in the Broadwater Cemetery, in Worthing, West Sussex.

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