Horace Eric Leek

Horace Leek's Portrait

Title: Horace Leek's Portrait
Description: Submitted by Nigel Leek by-nc

Horace was born in December, 1898 in Scarcliffe, Bolsover, North Derbyshire before his family moved to Haywood, near Askern where he was a young farm worker before enlisting in the Queens Own Yorkshire Dragoons as Private 39798 on 1st March, 1917 aged 18 years and 2 months. Although originally a cavalry regiment the mode of transport during the later part of the war was as a cyclist battalion.

In October, 1918, shortly before the end of the war he was injured by a shell fragment in the left thigh fighting near Ypres. He was stretchered off the battlefield by German POW’s and initially cared for by a local family who gave him a silver ring engraved “Ypres”. He was then admitted to 3 Canadian General Hospital in Boulogne on 13th October, 1918. He was subsequently repatriated to the UK and spent some time recovering from his injuries in the Eastern General Hospital (Bed 851) in Cambridge. During his convalescence he made an embroidery of the regimental insignia. Having served 1 year and 343 days he was discharged from the Duke of Wellingtons West Riding Regiment on 6th February, 1919 as “no longer physically fit for war service”.

Due to his leg injury he had to wear a special boot and leg iron to support his left leg for the rest of his life.

A postcard sent to Horace while he was convalescing in Cambridge

Title: A postcard sent to Horace while he was convalescing in Cambridge
Description: Submitted by Nigel Leek by-nc

Details of Horace's discharge

Title: Details of Horace's discharge
Description: Submitted by Nigel Leek by-nc

Horace's discharge certificate

Title: Horace's discharge certificate
Description: Submitted by Nigel Leek by-nc

A souvenir ring from Ypres

Title: A souvenir ring from Ypres
Description: Submitted by Nigel Leek by-nc


Horace went onto marry Elsie Blogg in 1925 and it is noted in newspaper cuttings of the time that due to their church connections; Horace was a churchwarden and Elsie a member of the Church council; they were greatly honoured for the Bishop of Sheffield to agree to officiate at the wedding ceremony. The couple had 3 daughters, Brenda, Stella and Jean, plus one son George Eric.

Horace subsequently worked for the National Coal Board on the surface at Bentley pit. Horace and Elsie lived in Bentley before moving to Mapperley, Nottingham when he retired.

Sadly his retirement was short lived and Horace passed away in August, 1965 following heart problems.

Written by Nigel Paul Leek (Grandson of Horace)

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