SKELTON - IN - CLEVELAND
"WE WILL REMEMBER THEM"
33400 Private JOHN ROBERT LECKENBY.
1/4th Battalion, York and Lancaster Regiment.
Formerly 45596 Yorkshire Regiment.
Killed in action, aged about 23, on the 9th of October 1917.
Born and enlisted at Skelton in Cleveland, N Yorks.
Son of Mary Leckenby of 22 Trouthall Lane, Skelton Green, N Yorkshire.
The Tyne Cot Memorial,
1911. John, aged 17, is living at 22 Trout Hall Lane, Skelton Green, N Yorks and had been born in Skelton.
His Mother, Mary, aged 41, is a Widow and had been born in Rothbury, Northumberland. She has had 3 children by 1911 and one has died.
John has a sister, Catharine, aged 15.
8th December 1916. NORTH RIDING APPEALS TRIBUNAL.
SCHOOL TEACHER CONSCRIPTED TO DIE.
John Robert Leckenby, age 23, Assistant school master, of 22 Trout Hall Lane, Skelton appealed on grounds of serious hardship.
His case was that he teaches at Boosbeck School. He supports a widowed mother and partially supports his sister.
He is the only assistant at the School and he is also studying for examinations to be taken on the 18th April 1917 for the RHS qualification in School Gardening for Teachers.
He is also the only teacher able to train a class of scholarship pupils for thier examination on the 12th May 1917.
Their future depends on the results of these examinations. He also has voluntarily joined the North Riding Reserve Volunteers [Boosbeck Branch] since receiving his conditional exemption.
If the exemption is reviewed he is willing to devote Saturdays and all School Holidays to other work decided by the North Riding Appeal Tribunal.
Dismissed on the 30th March 1917.
The 1/4th Bn (Hallamshire) York and Lancaster Regiment was formed in Sheffield in August 1914.
It was attached to the 148th Brigade of the 49th Division.
John's Medal Card shows that he was not awarded the 1914/15 Star.
The date that he joined his Battalion in France in 1916 or later and any previous action that he may have been involved in prior to his death is not known.
At the time of his death the 49th Division was fighting in the Battle of Poelcapelle, the sixth phase of the Third Battle of Ypres or Passchendaele.
An offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces at Ypres to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south.
The initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge was a complete success.
The Infantry attacked on the 31st July after a 2 week Artillery bombardment, which gave the Germans warning and destroyed the drainage of what was to start with a swampy plain.
One of the wettest Summers on record then turned the battleground into pits of mud in which men and horses drowned.
The campaign finally came to a close in November with the capture of Passchendaele.
The 5 mile advance over 3 months had cost 325,000 Allied casualties and a quarter of a million Germans.
John's body was never recovered and he is remembered on the Tyne Cot Memorial, which records 35,000 men who have no known grave and stands at the furthest point of the Western advance in Flanders before the armistice was signed.
All around the graves of the largest Commonwealth cemetery in the World.