A Collection of Medals to the 13th Regiment and Somerset Light Infantry

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Date of Auction: 2nd April 2004

Sold for £320

Estimate: £280 - £320

Three: Colour-Sergeant W. H. Leech, Somerset Light Infantry, one of a handful of men attached to the British Field Hospital of the Tochi Field Force in 1897

India General Service 1895-1902, 1 clasp, Punjab Frontier 1897-98 (3027 Store Sergt., 1st Som. Lt. Infy.): Queen’s South Africa 1899-1902, 2 clasps, Transvaal, South Africa 1902 (3027 Serjt., Somerset L.I.); Army L.S. & G.C., E.VII.R. (3027 C. Sjt., Somerset L.I.), mounted as worn, with material taken from a scarlet tunic for backing, contact marks and edge bruising, otherwise generally about very fine or better (3) £280-320


William Henry Leech was born in Cheshire and enlisted in the Somerset Light Infantry in December 1890, aged 20 years. Joining the 1st Battalion at Aldershot in the following year, he went with it to Gibraltar and thence to India, where, in 1897, it participated in the Mohmand operations on the Punjab Frontier. For his own part, Leech was one of seven infantrymen detached for service in the British Field Hospital of the Tochi Field Force Medical Department, unusually, in his case, in the rank of Pack Store Sergeant (also see Lot 337). In February 1902, Leech was among a 150-strong draft of men sent to South Africa, where they joined the 2nd Battalion in time to witness the closing chapters of the Boer War, and in May 1903, on his return to the U.K., he was advanced to Colour-Sergeant. Leech latterly served at the depot at Taunton and was awarded his L.S. & G.C. Medal in Army Orders of October 1909. Sadly, however, he died after a short illness in November 1912, and was given a full military funeral. Sold with copied group photograph which includes recipient.