Search The Archive

Search form

Collection Search
Date: September 25th 1916
Letter

LIEUT. HART LEECH KILLED IN ACTION

Made Perilous Canoe Journey to Enlist - Was Well-known Vocalist
Lieut. Hart Leech, whose name on Wednesday was in the casualty list as wounded, was reported dead yesterday. The news arrived in an official telegram from Ottawa to J. Hillyard Leech, K.C., father of the young officer. Lieut. Leech was apparently killed instantly on the field, the announcement that he had been wounded having apparently been an error.

The dead officer was probably as well known in Winnipeg as any young man of his years. He had grown up here and received his education in this city. When war broke out he was at Grand Rapids, and did not hear of the event for several weeks. When the news reached him he set out for Winnipeg in a canoe, and after a perilous journey arrived in town, and at once enlisted for active service in the 90th. He entered as a private, but later took various courses of instruction to fit himself for any duties to which he might be called. He studied musketry, engineering and bombing, and took the field officers' course, which prepared him for any position.

Joined 61st Battalion

He finally entered the 61st as lieutenant and became musketry instructor, lecturing on this subject. He refused offers of advancement on condition of transfer to other organizations, and preceded the 61st to Montreal, rejoining the regiment there. He entered the school of instruction at Shornecliffe and graduated with the highest honors, heading the school. He was then sent to the front and was engaged almost incessantly in fighting until he was killed.

Lieut. Leech was recognized in the city as one of its most promising young men. As a boy he was known as a pianist, and later he became a baritone soloist, and was widely known in musical circles. He had almost completed his course in law and would have this year entered the firm of which J. Hillyard Leech is the head had not the war intervened