Orders, Decorations, Medals and Militaria to coincide with the OMRS Convention (20 September 2002)

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Date of Auction: 20th September 2002

Sold for £500

Estimate: £300 - £350

The Afghan Campaign and Delhi Durbar pair awarded to Major-General Sir John Leach, K.C.V.O., Royal Artillery

Delhi Durbar 1903, unnamed as issued; Afghanistan 1878-80, no clasp (Lieut., D/A Bde. R.H.A.) good very fine (2) £300-350


John Leach was born on 3 May 1848, son of Thomas Leach of Ryde, Isle of Wight. He was educated at the R.M.A., Woolwich, was appointed a Gentleman Cadet on 31 July 1866, and granted a commission as a Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery on 13 January 1869.

Leach served in the Afghanistan campaign of 1878-79, taking part in the Bazar Valley expedition in January 1879, at which time he was serving with D Battery, A Brigade, Royal Horse Artillery. He was promoted Captain on 27 September 1879, and then served in 11 Battery, 7 Brigade, at St Helena. He served at the Cape and at St Helena from February 1880 to April 1881. After a brief period at the Depot of the South Irish Division, R.G.A., at Kinsale, Leach then served almost continuously in India until June 1900, having been promoted Brevet Colonel on 12 May 1899. During this period he commanded Batteries of both Horse and Field Artillery.

On completion of five years’ service as a regimental Lieutenant-Colonel, he was placed on half-pay in May 1900, but with the war in South Africa he was soon employed again. He was appointed temporarily Commandant of the School for Horse and Field Artillery at Okehampton Camp, but was again placed on half-pay in November 1900. Shortly afterwards he was appointed a Colonel on the Staff, for R.A., in the Bengal Command in India, and was promoted temporary Brigadier-General on 3 December 1900. Whilst in India on this tour of duty, Leach took part in the Delhi Durbar on New Year’s Day 1903, in command of the Artillery at Delhi.

Completing his appointment in India, Leach was promoted a Major-General on the Staff to command the Woolwich District, and temporarily to command the R.A. of the IVth Army Corps. It was while he held this command that he presided over the visit of King Edward to Woolwich on 19 October 1904. For his services on this occasion, Leach was appointed a K.C.V.O., as notified in the London Gazette of 1 November 1904. Leach relinquished his command in May 1905, when he was then temporarily attached to Headquarters of Eastern Command as Major-General of Horse and Field Artillery. He was finally appointed on 1 June 1905, Commander of Coast Defences at Plymouth, which command he held just under three years. He retired on 6 May 1908, and was subsequently on the Reserve of Officers as a Major-General with seniority 18 April 1904. Major-General Sir John Leach, K.C.V.O., died at Mentone on 22 January 1927, aged 78. Sold with further research including an original photograph of the King’s visit to Woolwich in 1904.