Remembered Today: Gunner J LEITH, 107 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, who died on 1 June 1917, Railway Dugouts Burial Ground
Found an excellent site recording details of John Leith from Aberdeenshire
Gunner John Leith, 107th Bde, Royal Field Artillery
John Leith, the second son son of John and Jane Leith, was born on 6th November 1896 on the family farm of Courtieston, Leslie. John Leith, Snr died at Courtieston aged only 43 in 1904. Shortly after, his widow and her five sons moved to the farm of Piperwell at Duncanston, Kennethmont. It was from Piperwell that John and his younger brother James left to go on active service. James served in the Machine Gun Corps and was also killed in action.
John was working as a farm servat at Tillyangus, Clatt when he enlisted at Aberdeen and was assigned to the Royal Field Artillery, 107th Brigade. It is not known if he enlisted after May 1916 when universal conscription come into effect with a Military Service Act applying to all men regardless of marital status between 18 and 41 years. Working on a farm may have been classed as a ' reserved occupation ' prior to this date. It is known he was not in France or Flanders prior to 1916.
It is known that John was a member of "B" Battery, 107th Brigade in the 24th Division. Prior to his death it is likely the battery were in positions in the Zillebeke area in preparation for the start of the artillery bombarment on the German lines two miles away prior to The Flanders Offensive or Battles of Third Ypres. This offensive opened on 7th June 1915 and culminated in the Battle of Passchendaele in November of that year.
There were no actions taking place on the day on John's death but it is quite likely he was injured by German shell fire directed on his battery's position and evacuated to the Advanced Dressing Station located at a farm, known by the British soldiers as Transport Farm, near Zillebeke Lake. The ADS buried in the cemetery which was established there in 1915. Transport Farm Cemetery is also known as Railway Dugouts Burial Ground owing to dugouts in the adjoining railway line embankment being used to house an ADS which also buried its dead there
LEITH, J Rank: Gunner Service No: 103785 Date of Death: 01/06/1917 Regiment/Service: Royal Field Artillery "B" Bty. 107th Bde. Grave Reference IV. B. 9. Cemetery RAILWAY DUGOUTS BURIAL GROUND Gunner Leith is buried at Railway Dugouts Burial Ground which is one of my favourite cemeteries. Recently travelled to Ypres by train from Brugge via Kortrijk. Just managed to catch the Railway Dugouts Cemetery as we sped past.
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