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England, Vereinigtes Königreich
British Expeditionary Force
Second Lieutenant
 —  Machine Gun Corps, 148th Coy.  (Letzte bekannte Einheit)

Informationen zu Tod

Bellevue, Belgien
Im Kampf gefallen


Tyne Cot Memorial
Tafel: 154

Auszeichnungen und Orden 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Punkte von Interesse 1

#1 Geburtsort

Meine Geschichte

Bernard Jack Leech was born in Islington, Middlesex in 1898. While attending the University of London during World War I, Bernard joined the University Officers' Training Corps, an Army Reserve unit that recruits exclusively from university students. With the aim to train the future generation of Officers. After completing his training Bernard was appointed as a Second Lieutenant in the 148th Company Machine Gun Corps, which was part of the 148th Brigade, of the 49th (West Riding) Division.

Bernard’s unit arrived in Flanders on the 1st of October 1917, as the 148th Brigade prepared itself to participate in the Battle of Passchendaele. A week later on 8 October the Brigade moved up to the frontline, getting into battle positions between Berlin Wood and Fleet Cottage at 5.00 a.m. on 9 October 1917. Twenty minutes later at Zero hour 5.20 a.m. the 148th brigade advanced through the Ravebeek valley towards the Bellevue Ridge, just west of the ruins of Passchendaele.

The going was tough. The ground was cut up. The continuous shelling had shattered the banks of the Ravebeek Stream, and much of the valley had been inundated. The water was waist deep and prevented the troops to move forward in an orderly fashion. Heavy German machine-gun fire from Bellevue and Wolf Copse further impeded the attack and no headway could be made.

Eight machine-guns of the 148th Machine Gun Company were at the disposal of the Brigade. Two guns remained in Reserve at Abraham Heights, while six guns advanced with the infantry. The advancing guns suffered very heavily. Only two guns got into their forward positions, one gun on the high ground in the vicinity of the northern end of Dad Trench and the other at the south corner of Wolf Copse. All the other guns were put out of action. So at 5.00 p.m. the two remaining guns in reserve were ordered forward, applying fire from the summit of Korek Hill to the area of Friesland and Duck Lodge.

Second Lieutenant Bernard Jack Leech, barely 19 years old, was killed in action on 9 October 1917 during the attack on the Bellevue Ridge. According to the Roll of the Fallen of the University of London’s Officers' Training Corps Bernard was killed by a sniper while reconnoitring for a better position for his machine-gun. Bernard has no known grave and is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial.

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