BORN IPSWICH, SUFFOLK, 22/11/1879. SECOND SON OF SPENCER STEPHEN LEEK (1848-1886) AND ANNIE GREEN. SON OF AN IRON MOULDER. A PROFESSIONAL SOLDIER. HE ENLISTED AS A DRUMMERBOY, IN THE 1ST WEST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT IN OCTOBER 1894. REMAINED FOR 12 YEARS IN THIS REGIMENT, SERVING IN INDIA AND CHINA. RETIRED IN 1906. RECEIVED A SILVER WATCH BY THE BANDSMEN OF HIS BATTALION. RE-ENLISTED IN THE 3RD EAST YORKSHIRE RESERVES, AS A LANCE CORPORAL IN JUNE 1909.
HE MARRIED FLORENCE ANN JULIAN, AT BEVERLEY MINSTER, ON 19/07/1909. SERVED IN THE 3RD EYR AS A MUSICIAN FOR A FURTHER SEVEN YEARS. APPOINTED TO SERGEANT DRUMMER OF THE 6TH EYR ON THE OUTBREAK OF WAR IN AUGUST 1914. POSTED WITH THE MEDITERANEAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE ON 14/07/1915. ARRIVED AT THE DARDENELLES ON 08/08/1915. KILLED AT GALLIPOLI, ON 21/08/1915, AGED 35. HIS WIDOW FLORENCE ANN JULIEN LEEK AND DAUGHTERS, OLIVE AND CONSTANCE (BORN 01/08/1910), LIVED AT 15 NORWOOD GROVE, NORWOOD STREET. HE LEFT HIS ARMY EFFECTS TO HIS WIDOW.
HIS DEATH WAS REPORTED IN THE HULL DAILY MAIL ON 14/09/1915, AND THE HULL TIMES, ON 25/08/1915, WITH HIS PHOTOGRAPH. * HE IS ALSO COMMEMORATED ON THE NORWOOD STREET MEMORIAL, BEVERLEY, BUT HIS SURNAME IS RECORDED AS LEAKE, RATHER THAN LEEK.
21st August 1915 – the attack on Scimitar Hill
Wyrall’s “East Yorkshire Regiment in the Great War” shows that the 6th East Yorkshire Regiment had been in reserve from 10th to the 20th August at Nibrunesi Point where they had dug themselves in at the base of a cliff. On 20th August the 6thEast Yorkshires relieved the Northumberland Fusiliers in trenches South East of Chocolate Hill. They came under the orders of 34th Brigade who would attack “Hill W” the next morning.
The 6th Battalion were to dig in and support the Lancashire Fusiliers and the Dorset’s, who would attack the next morning. There was a delay due to lost orders and confusion, and the attack did not commence until 3pm on the 21st. When the Dorset’s and Lancashire’s left their trenches the 6th East Yorkshires moved forward to occupy these trenches. The Dorset’s and the Lancashire’s ran into stubborn resistance and so most of the 6th East Yorkshires were sent forward to support them. The 6th East Yorkshire‘s captured a Turkish trench in front of them and awaited relief. The 6th East York (Pioneers) had occupied Hill 70 (Scimitar Hill), next to W Hill the most vital of all the semicircle of heights overlooking Suvla Bay and were there only waiting for the brigade’s further advance upon W Hill or Anafarta Sagir, to both of which it is the key. They held this trench overnight, but it became impossible to hold the next morning (22nd August) as the number of Turks increased and they had no bombs. Around 7.30 am the 6th East Yorkshires retreated to their original trenches and later that night they were relieved and moved back to their original reserve trenches at Nibrunesi point the following morning. The 6th East Yorkshire casualties by 22nd August 1915, included 26 Officers and 628 men. Officer casualties were 80% and other ranks 68%.