Cecil Darley Farren Leech 2 March 1918

Cecil Darley Farren Leech is one of a small group of those killed for whom we have no known picture. He was born on St Cecilia’s Day (22nd November) in 1892 in Manchester, was a second son and came to Crosby House in 1906 and stayed for three years. At Oundle he was a keen cricketer and hockey player, and as a junior he showed some promise as a bowler. He took 9 for 55 in two innings against Grafton, and 8 for 80 against School House, but by his last year the only record of him playing in a House cricket match was when he scored just 1 run in two innings and took one wicket for 79 – a match which Crosby’s opponents, Sidney won easily. The man Leech trapped lbw that day though was John Gulliland, another of the War’s victims.

He took up banking after Oundle, and at the outbreak of hostilities was in the London House of the Mercantile Bank of India.

Cecil Leech gained a commission in the North Staffordshire Regiment and was sent out to Rawal Pindi in India, where he arrived on 30th August 1915. During the War, the British were aware of the need to maintain garrisons with British troops in many parts of the Empire but especially in India in the dangerous North-West Frontier region.

He was accidentally killed on 2nd March 1918, his rank at the time being Captain. He was originally buried in Attoc New Cemetery but was later re-buried by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission in Karachi (now in Pakistan, then in India) as it was proving impossible to maintain other cemeteries like Attoc scattered across North West India.

Cecil Leech was 25 years old at the time of his death.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow